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Can a Chipped Tooth Heal Itself?

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A young man in a blue T-shirt with a chipped tooth.

If you’ve ever had a chipped tooth, you likely know how uncomfortable and unsettling it can be. But can a chipped tooth heal itself? No, a chipped tooth cannot heal on its own. If you experience tooth damage, you should see your dentist as soon as possible to get treatment.

Dental treatment is essential for addressing a chipped tooth and preventing further harm. 

Why Can’t a Chipped Tooth Heal Itself?

While it may be tempting to wait it out and hope that your chipped tooth will repair itself, seeking treatment from a dental professional is important.

Teeth are incredibly strong, but they are not indestructible. When a tooth becomes chipped, part of the tooth structure is damaged. Unfortunately, unlike other bones in your body that can regenerate and heal, a chipped tooth will not regrow.

The structure of a tooth comprises 3 main layers

  • Enamel
  • Dentin
  • Pulp 

The enamel is the outermost layer and is the hardest substance in the human body. Beneath the enamel is a layer of dentin, and the inside layer is the pulp.

The enamel, dentin, and pulp may be impacted when you experience a chip, leaving the tooth susceptible to future damage, infections, and pain.

A close-up of a human gums and teeth  with a chipped tooth in the center

Can a Tooth Repair Itself Under Certain Circumstances?

The human body is incredibly resilient, and unlike other organs, teeth can repair small amounts of lost enamel. This process is known as remineralization

That said, remineralization is not a solution for a significant chip on the tooth surface or one that has penetrated into the tooth structure. If a large portion of the tooth is gone, a professional restorative procedure may be required to prevent further damage.

Dental Treatment Options Available for Chipped Teeth

A chipped tooth should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid infection, sensitivity, and discomfort.

A range of treatment options are available, depending on the severity of the damage to your tooth. The success of any treatment depends on multiple factors, such as the technology and techniques used and your dental hygiene habits.

Dental Bonding

Teeth bonding is a cosmetic technique dentists use to fix chips and cracks in teeth and improve their appearance. In this procedure, the dentist applies a tooth-coloured resin to the tooth’s surface and sets it using a special light. Bonding is an effective technique for small chips.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are another effective option for chipped teeth that require more extensive treatment. They are particularly useful in cases where cosmetic damage has penetrated a significant portion of the tooth surface.

Veneers are ultra-thin, tooth-coloured shells customized to fit over and cover the front surface of the teeth. This procedure is minorly invasive and involves removing a portion of the enamel to make room for the veneer.

Dental Crowns

If the extent of the chip or crack is larger, your dentist may recommend a crown. Dental crowns are caps that cover the entire tooth surface, giving it more structural support and stability. Crowns are commonly used for cosmetic or restorative purposes, depending on the extent of the damage.

Dental Implants

When a chipped tooth cannot be restored or repaired, the only solution may be extraction. In this case, your dentist may recommend a dental implant.

The implant is a post that is surgically attached to the jawbone underneath the missing tooth. Once this implant has healed, the dentist will attach a crown to it, serving as a replacement tooth.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy may be necessary when a chip or crack extends into a tooth’s pulp. During a root canal, the dentist removes the damaged pulp and seals the tooth to prevent bacteria from entering the canal. Once the tooth is disinfected, it is filled with material, finishing the root canal procedure.

The Importance of Seeking Prompt Dental Treatment for a Chipped Tooth

While it may be tempting to hope for the best and wait for your chipped tooth to heal itself, the reality is that it can’t.

Dental treatment from a qualified and experienced dentist is crucial for treating a chipped tooth effectively. If you have chipped or broken a tooth, don’t wait; contact a dental professional for an appointment right away.

At Hometown Dental, we offer our modern dental office featuring high-tech equipment to support your family’s smile.

Our clinic provides homegrown, family-focused care in an approachable, friendly, and stress-free environment. Come visit us today; we would love to know you and your smile!

Written by Dr. JJ

Meet the leader of the Hometown Dental team — Dr. JJ!

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