Teeth that are chipped are 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 teeth to be damaged, especially if the tooth has experienced some 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 have a chipped tooth
When you realize you have fractured or broken a 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 teeth or tooth in question.
- 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 Damaged Teeth
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 it's noticeable when you smile your dentist will use a composite resin to build up the tooth, this procedure is called bonding.
Bonding 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 Teeth
If your damaged tooth has a lot of decay or large pieces of the 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 teeth to be fitted with the cap or crown. When you custom crown returns from the lab your dentist will then affix the crown. 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 Impaired Teeth
Damage to front teeth may require the application of veneers. Dental veneers are thin custom fit shells that cover teeth. They are made from porcelain or resin and are permanently adhered to the tooth enamel to restore a natural looking smile.
Root Canal for Severe Fractures
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 inside of the tooth.
Anyone may have to deal with chipped teeth at some point in their lives. A dental professional should be seen as soon as possible to maintain a healthy natural looking smile.