Chipped Teeth Make for Cranky Homes!
Chipped teeth make for the worse kind of chips. Okay, that’s a horrible joke. But chipped teeth can make for the most surprising events. Say you’re eating something hard, or biting into something tough, and you can hear that ominous ‘crack’ inside your mouth. Or you’re playing ball with your children, and the stray one hits your face. In fact, children end up with chipped teeth from sports injuries even more, because of all the rough housing. Added to this is the fact that teeth are much weaker after being subjected to age, which makes them weaker naturally, especially if you have a history of having cavities or tooth decay, or being a chronic smoker or alcoholic. All these factors add up for the older family members, till something even as innocuous as half boiled corn off the cob, or ice cubes, can chip your teeth.
So, what next? You might not be inclined to take a chipped tooth too seriously, especially if it’s not visible. But having a sharp edged tooth at the back will constantly irritate the delicate inner lining of your mouth, giving rise to ulcers, which can potentially turn into malignant cancers of the buccal mucosa. And if it’s in front, then the unsightly chipped tooth peeks out every time you open your mouth- and that look only looks good on little kids. Not just that, but the chipped tooth is a potential site for infection to start, as the nerve endings may be exposed, leading to infiltration of the pulp cavity by bacteria, and abscesses and excruciating pain. Fortunately, the solution for a chipped tooth is relatively simple. for small chips that do not involve the pulp cavity of the tooth, or take off the whole top, dentists generally ‘bond’ the tooth. In Bonding, they reconstruct the missing chip out of a polymer based resin and then harden it onto the tooth using UV light, so that it looks the same as the rest of your teeth. If the chip is superficial, then a simple veneer can take care of the surface. If the top of the tooth is partially still there, then dentists can put in a cap or crown. Crowns are coverings for the top of the tooth. Metal crowns are the most long lasting kind, but ceramic and porcelain and resin crowns are also available, that look more natural. Which one you need, can be discussed with your dentist, depending upon your requirements. If the entire top of the tooth is lost, then dentists can perform a Root Canal Surgery, in which they replace the missing core of the central pulp cavity, and anchor and fix a cap or crown on top of it. Root canal surgeries are longer and pricier than getting caps, but if the pulp cavity has been exposed or is infected, then they are the best option for you, as the dentist will have to clean out all the infected debris from the cavity, and pack it, to prevent any recurrent infections or spread of infection. While this may seem a painful procedure, and children might be nervous about it, the whole thing is performed under anesthesia, so there won’t be any sensation, except maybe for a little residual numbness. But the fact remains that chipped teeth should not be neglected, whether they’re ours or our children’s. Healthy teeth make happy homes, always!
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