A chipped tooth is a common and easily remedied dental occurrence. Whether it’s from catching a baseball on the chin or over zealously crunching on ice cubes, that moment comes when we feel that little shard of tooth. The enamel that covers our teeth is the hardest substance in our body but it too has its limits. A blow to the face, falling or biting down on something hard can all cause broken teeth, especially if the tooth has experienced some tooth decay or cavities already. So when your time comes, don’t worry, today your dentist has several techniques to fix your teeth and restore your healthy smile.
What to do When You Discover Teeth That are Chipped?
When you realize you have a fractured, broken or chipped tooth arrange to see your dentist immediately. Putting it off could lead to further damage, infection or tooth loss. Meanwhile, you should try to take care of your injury and try to alleviate any pain.
- If you experience pain, rinse your mouth with salt water and take an over the counter pain reliever.
- Try to avoid eating, but if you do, eat soft foods or liquids and don’t bite down on the broken tooth.
- If there is a sharp or jagged edge due to the damage, try to cover it with wax or chewing gum to protect your tongue and inside of your mouth.
Filling or Bonding Teeth with Small Chips
A minor chip to the tooth enamel may only require a filling. Your dentist can easily repair your tooth in one quick routine visit. If your tooth is noticeable when you smile your dentist will use a composite resin to restore it, this procedure is called bonding.
Bonding to teeth is a simple procedure that can be done in one visit as well. Your dentist will use an adhesive to bond the resin to your tooth and shape it to look natural. An ultraviolet light is then used to harden the resin and the repair is complete.
Capping or Crowning Broken Teeth
If your damaged tooth has a lot of decay or large pieces are missing, your dentist will either cap or crown the damaged tooth. This procedure usually takes two visits. The first consists of x-rays and the dentist preparing the damaged teeth to be fitted with the cap or crown. When you custom crown returns from the lab your dentist will then affix it to the prepared tooth. Caps and crowns are made from a variety of materials; you and your dentist will discuss which is best suited to your needs.
Veneers to Cover Unsightly Teeth
Damage to front teeth may require the application of veneers. Dental veneers are thin custom fit shells that cover the chipped teeth. They are made from porcelain or resin and are permanently adhered to the chipped teeth to restore a natural looking smile.
Root Canal for Badly Damaged Teeth
If the damage to the tooth is so severe that the pulp of the tooth is exposed your dentist will perform a root canal. The pulp is the center of the tooth and contains blood vessels and nerves. The exposed pulp can easily become infected resulting in a toothache or even tooth loss. A root canal removes the dead pulp, cleans out the root canal, seals the tooth.
Everyone deals with broken or chipped teeth at some point in our lives. See a dental professional as soon as possible to repair chipped teeth because you deserve a healthy natural looking smile.