Ask a General Dentist: Does a Chipped Tooth Need a Root Canal?

chipped tooth Mountain View, CA

You might get a chipped tooth when biting into something hard. The enamel that covers your teeth is hard and is a very mineralized tissue. However, its strength is often limited. Biting on something hard can cause a chip in the tooth. The good news is that your dentist can do many things to fix it, including root canals. Keep reading to learn when you might need to have a root canal treatment.

Getting treatment

The right treatment for a chipped tooth depends on how severe the damage is. For example, if there is only a small chip, then a root canal is not needed. However, if there is more extensive damage to the tooth, the procedure will be longer.

For a small chip, the dentist might use a filling to repair the damaged portion. If this area is in the front of the mouth, the dentist may use bonding. That is a good option if the tooth can be seen while the patient smiles. This process involves using composite resin in the same color as the tooth.

Bonding

With dental bonding, the dentist will not need to numb the tooth. The dentist will use a gel or a liquid to etch the surface of the tooth. That helps to roughen it so that the bonding material can better adhere. The dentist will next apply an adhesive to the tooth.

Finally, the tooth-colored resin is applied. The dentist will then shape the bonding material. This helps it to look like the patient’s natural tooth. Ultraviolet light is used to harden the material, so it properly sets against the tooth.

Dental crowns

Sometimes, the tooth might have extensive decay or have a large chipped portion. The dentist can then file or grind down part of the tooth for a crown. This can improve the appearance of the tooth while protecting it. There are several different types of crowns. For example, patients can choose from metal, ceramic, porcelain or resin.

Root canals

If the pulp has been exposed, then it can become infected from bacteria. If the tooth changes color or is sensitive to temperature, then a root canal might be needed. With a root canal treatment, the diseased pulp is removed. Then the tooth is filled with a replacement filling.

A dentist or an endodontist might perform this procedure. Generally, this is not more painful than having a regular filling. Patients will generally get dental crowns after having the tooth filled. This helps protect the tooth, which is now weaker. Without this procedure, the tooth can die and needs to be extracted.

Visit a dentist for chipped tooth repair

Getting your chipped tooth repaired soon is vital. That will prevent potential infections. Chipped teeth do not always need root canal treatments. You can also get bonding or dental crowns if the damage is not too bad. Your dentist will help you decide on the right type of treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://smilesdental.com or call Smiles Dental Care at (650) 563-1180 for an appointment in our Mountain View office.

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