• March 11, 2024

Chipped Tooth: Symptoms, Causes, Repair Treatment and Recovery Costs

Chipped Tooth: Symptoms, Causes, Repair Treatment and Recovery Costs

It only takes a split-second chip or crack to a tooth to cause immediate panic. Beyond just cosmetic concerns of an imperfect smile, a chipped tooth also raises worries about pain, sensitivity, infection risks, and high repair costs. Read on for helpful information on identifying a chipped tooth, treatment options, average costs in the UK, and tips for healing.

Top Symptoms of a Chipped Tooth

Noticeable symptoms pointing to a chipped or cracked tooth include:

  • Sharp tooth pain when eating or drinking hot, cold or sweet foods
  • Heightened tooth sensitivity to temperature changes
  • Visible crack or chip on corner or edge of tooth enamel
  • An uneven tooth surface or missing enamel pieces
  • Discoloration or exposed inner yellow dentin layer of tooth
  • Swollen, bleeding gums around affected tooth
  • Lingering pain when chewing or biting down
  • A loose tooth feeling like it’s shifting or moving

Seeking prompt dental treatment is key to preserving the damaged tooth and preventing complications. Put off treatment too long and you risk needing a root canal, crown, or tooth extraction and replacement.

What Causes Chipped Teeth?

Many different mishaps may result in chipping damage or cracks to your tooth enamel or layers beneath. Common causes include:

  • Biting down too hard on hard foods, ice cubes, bones, seeds, nuts, etc
  • Sports impacts without a mouthguard to cushion blows
  • Falls or accidents leading to trauma to mouth/teeth
  • Auto collisions with airbag or steering wheel hits
  • Workplace or DIY injuries from tools and equipment
  • Tooth grinders putting excessive biting force on teeth overnight
  • Previously cracked tooth deteriorating further over time
  • Underlying tooth decay reaching inner layers weaker to damage
  • Knowing the cause can prevent repeat issues by addressing habits, wearing protective gear, or resolving underlying conditions.

Chipped Tooth Repair Treatment Options

Based on factors like cost, tooth location, and extent of damage, common chipped tooth repair treatments include:

Dental Bonding – Applying a putty-like resin material matching the tooth shade, bonding creates a smooth repaired surface once hardened and shaped. Affordable at approximately £75-£150 per tooth, bonding doesn’t withstand serious chewing/biting forces long term.

Veneers or Crowns – Custom fabricated tooth coverings made of porcelain or zirconia provide an artificially repaired appearance and the strongest reinforcement to extensively damaged teeth. Veneer costs range from £500-£1,200 per tooth. Adding a metal-reinforced crown under the veneer runs £800-£2,000+ per damaged tooth.

Root Canal – If tooth decay or cracks extend internally into the pulp nerves and blood vessels, a specialist root canal cleaning out infection often precedes veneers or crowns to save the damaged tooth. Expect fees between £400-£900.


Next to This:

Tooth Extractions – If the tooth chip or crack compromises the tooth too severely for other restorative treatments, dentists remove the damaged tooth surgically before replacing with a dental implant or bridge later on after healing. Simple tooth extractions cost approximately £140-£250 per tooth.

No matter the cause or extent of damage, chipped tooth repair is always highly individualized to your unique circumstance. After a dental exam and possible x-rays, your dentist devises an appropriate treatment and restoration plan specific to your mouth’s situation.

Recovering from a Chipped Tooth Repair Procedure

Healing times and required aftercare varies widely based on whether you get bonding, veneers, a root canal or tooth extraction and replacements after a chipped tooth injury. Some general recovery tips include:

  • Stick to soft foods for chewing comfort
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to prevent infection and promote healing
  • Rinse carefully after eating and avoid extremely hot or cold foods/drinks
  • Take any prescribed antibiotics as directed to prevent bacterial infection
  • Manage swelling or pain with over-the-counter analgesics
  • Refrain from alcohol use, smoking and strenuous exercise temporarily

Five types of surgeons that patients need for surgery

Attend scheduled follow up dental appointments for monitoring, adjustments and guidance on avoiding future tooth damage through protective steps. Report any unexpected lingering pain or temperature sensitivity for prompt assessment if complications occur.

Preventing Chipped Teeth

While some accidents causing chipped teeth can’t be avoided, many precautions do minimize the likelihood of bites chips and cracks. Protect your smile by:

Wearing mouthguards and helmets for contact sports –

Properly fitted mouthguards cushion blows that would otherwise chip teeth. Helmets further protect the jaw from injury if you take a hit to the face.

Chewing carefully especially if you have fillings or dental work –

Go slowly when biting firmer foods, avoid chewing ice or other hard objects, use both sides of your mouth evenly to reduce excessive biting forces on compromised teeth.

Getting dental crowns on worn or cracked teeth –

Reinforcing already vulnerable teeth with crowns helps withstand chewing impacts and protects their structural integrity.

Addressing teeth grinding habits –

Using nightguards, managing stress, undergoing physiotherapy for TMJD, and even Botox injections curb grinding intensity overnight to prevent progressive cracking from the constant excessive pressures put on teeth.

Practicing good daily dental hygiene –

Brushing properly morning and night plus flossing removes decay-causing plaque that weakens enamel making teeth fracture easier from everyday strains of chewing and biting.

Quitting smoking and limiting teeth staining foods/drinks –

The chemicals in cigarettes, coffee, tea, red wine etc steadily stain and damage the tooth structure leaving them more fracture-prone during normal daily use over time. Curb staining habits.

Discuss your unique chipped teeth risks with your dentist and habits to avoid. Protect your precious smile through reinforcement treatments where needed combined with preventative lifestyle measures.

Paying for Emergency Chipped Tooth Repairs in the UK

As the National Health Service provides no standard dental injury coverage for adults, costs for a chipped or cracked tooth repair may be an unpleasant surprise unless insured privately. Dental payment plan financing and priority appointments help lessen the burden when urgently needing complex teeth restoration or replacements. Discuss budget payment options directly at our Smile Clinic Dental London.

While an unexpected chipped or cracked tooth cause’s instant distress disrupting meals, speech and appearance, today’s advanced restorative treatments offer many options for prompt repair and long term solutions. Seeking immediate dental expertise better ensures saving damaged teeth and smile aesthetics through the most affordable approach. Search for highly reviewed Smile Dental Practices near you for emergency evaluations and treatment of chipped tooth London after injuries strike.

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