How Dental Contouring Can Fix Minor Cracks and Chips

Dentist Blog

A chipped or cracked tooth might feel like a catastrophe—like something that can only be remedied with some fairly major dental work. Of course, this might in fact be the case when the chip or crack is significant. In these instances, the tooth in question might need to be rebuilt using dental cement, or perhaps sealed under a dental crown. But of course, not all dental damage is the same. In the case of small chips and cracks, your dentist might suggest a minor procedure known as enameloplasty, which is a form of teeth contouring. So what is involved when you undergo teeth contouring?

Buffing the Damage Away

Enameloplasty involves your dentist simply buffing out the crack or chip in order to achieve uniformity—to return the tooth to a solid, undamaged unit.

Suitability for Enameloplasty

Your suitability for the process is determined by the severity of the damage. When a hairline crack hasn't affected the structural integrity of the tooth and has only caused minor damage to your dental enamel, the contouring process can remove the crack while removing a small and safe amount of dental enamel. This is why it is only appropriate when the crack is shallow. Too deep a crack would require too much dental enamel to be removed, potentially weakening your tooth.

Your Dental Pulp

When a tooth has been chipped, enameloplasty can be appropriate if the process will not expose the dental pulp (the nerve inside each tooth). This can result in sensitivity and can potentially weaken your tooth. Your dentist might also perform the process on the corresponding, undamaged tooth to create uniformity. For example, a chipped lower canine tooth that requires enameloplasty might also result in your other lower canine tooth requiring the process so that the two teeth match.

The Process

Your dentist will use a small sanding tool to achieve the desired result, and this result is instant. It's not as though enameloplasty is painful, since the sanding tool will be coming into contact with your dental enamel (which doesn't contain any nerves). However, the friction created can result in some discomfort, particularly for those who have sensitive teeth. Your dentist can use an anaesthetic if desired.

So while deep cracks and large chips might need something more significant to return the tooth to its former glory, enameloplasty can be a quick and easy solution when the original damage wasn't all that severe.


14 March 2018

Fillings: Everything You Need to Know

Hi! Welcome to my blog! My name is Kerry, and this blog is focused on dental fillings. It looks at the history of fillings, options for contemporary fillings, how to protect your fillings, when to replace them and much more. If you have ever had a cavity filled or if you are planning to get a tooth filled, you will find the information in this blog useful. I try to look at fillings from all angles, and I even plan to look at how to avoid fillings through proper dental hygiene and sealants. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find the info intellectually "filling."