Chip off the Old Block

shutterstock_146662Our smiles are important to us all, and when there is a chipped or missing tooth, it can greatly affect not only our self-esteem but our dental health as well. It is important to find a local dentist who will fix the problem before it creates further damage or pain. Chipping a tooth can damage the nerve and cause extreme sensitivity with increased pain due to the nerve ending being exposed to air and hot or cold drinks. Sensitivity can also be caused by a cracked tooth as well. Todd Franklin, DDS in Lodi says his approach to fixing chipped teeth is different than most. “Teeth don’t chip just to chip; there are usually underlying causes to chipped teeth,” he explains. “Usually, a person has a bad bite.” Dr. Franklin says putting materials such as a veneer or cap on a tooth won’t necessarily work if you don’t first address the gap. He notes that there are specific steps he puts patients through. “I analyze the bite to make sure we can root out any underlying cause for chipped or broken teeth.” The important thing to remember is if you’re going to spend money and time on fixing a tooth, you don’t want to return in a year if the bite is not corrected.

There are different types of materials used to repair a chipped tooth–the plastic composite comes in two colors and lasts typically five years, while the porcelain or ceramic glass lasts around five to ten years. A person can also suffer from other dental ailments such as a missing tooth, which when left untreated, can cause gaps and spaces to form. There are various ways to replace a missing tooth. One is a titanium post that is put into the jawbone with a crown then placed on top. Dr. Franklin says that particular method has been around the longest, but he also uses what is called a bridge to replace the missing teeth. The bridge utilizes teeth on either side of the space as anchor points; they look like individual teeth but are glued in.

When evaluating whether or not to repair a chipped tooth, you should consult your dentist and determine the best course of action. If a chip is small, then the dentist may smooth out the chipped area and the tooth won’t require a filling. A cracked tooth can be easily repaired depending on the severity. A minor crack rarely needs treatment, but a fully cracked tooth will need to be repaired with filling material, a crown, or possibly a root canal.

For more information contact:
Dr. Todd Franklin, D.D.S.
1208 W Tokay St.
Lodi, (209) 334-4370