What to do about a chipped or broken tooth?
A chipped or broken tooth can happen to anyone. You might chip or crack your tooth while chewing on ice or hard candy. You can also break a tooth because of sports injuries, accidents, and falls. The enamel on the external surface of your teeth is the hardest substance on the body, but it’s not invulnerable. Sudden trauma, injuries, and biting hard objects can break or damage your enamel. If you have a chipped tooth, you must collect all the fragmented pieces in an airtight container and take them to the dentist as soon as possible.
The following are some immediate self-care tips for chipped or broken teeth:
- Take over-the-counter pain medications to reduce the discomfort.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to minimize the risk of infections.
- If there’s a jagged edge on your tooth, cover it with sugarless chewing gum — this will prevent you from cutting your tongue, cheeks, or soft tissues.
- Don’t bite down on the damaged tooth.
- Eat from the other side of your face and only soft foods.
What treatments can be used for a chipped tooth?
Teeth can get chipped, broken, damaged, or fractured in numerous different ways. Some dental damages can be fixed with small, in-office repairs, whereas others necessitate elongated procedures. The type of treatment necessary to fix the chipped or broken tooth will depend on the extent and type of damage. In the worst cases, you may also need emergency tooth extractions to prevent severe problems and infections. Below, we highlight your treatment options for chipped and broken teeth.
If you have a small crack, the dentist may recommend a dental filling for the damage. This is a simple procedure wherein the dentist will remove the infected areas, clean the hole, and place the filling. The composite resin filling will be placed in layers until it hardens and becomes a part of your dental structure.
Dental bonding is a safe procedure wherein composite resin materials are bonded to the surface of your teeth. The composite resin material eventually hardens and restores the damage, covering up the cracks and holes. The dentist polishes the surface to ensure it looks natural. This procedure is only suitable for extremely small cracks.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap attached above the affected tooth. The dentist will have to file down your existing tooth to a small stub, following which the crown will be placed. Porcelain crowns look indistinguishable from natural teeth. Dental crowns can also strengthen weakened teeth, preventing the damage from spreading. This is suitable for larger cracks.
You may need root canal therapy if the dental crack or fracture spreads into the pulp chamber, i.e., the innermost part of the tooth. In this case, the dentist will drill an access hole to the pulp chamber and remove all the infected pulp tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. After disinfecting the root canal, the dentist will seal it and place a dental crown to protect the tooth.
Dental veneers can cover up chips and cracks that don’t extend beyond the enamel. If your dental chip doesn’t pose any functional or medical risks, the dentist may provide a tooth-shaped and tooth-colored veneer. The dental veneer is bonded to the front face of your tooth, thus replacing the external enamel. It gives the appearance of perfect teeth.
Dental extractions may be necessary in extreme cases, i.e., when the dental fracture goes under the gum line or reaches the root. In these cases, the tooth will be deemed completely damaged and lost. The dentist will have to remove the affected chipped tooth to prevent infections from spreading into the surrounding regions.
A dental implant is ideal for tooth replacement if you’ve undergone a dental extraction because of severe fractures. After dental extraction, the dentist will place a titanium screw into the empty socket of the missing tooth. The titanium screw will replace the root of the missing tooth, thus serving as a base for a crown.
How do dentists fix a chipped tooth?
Dental fillings are the most common restorative techniques for rotting teeth, i.e., teeth with cavities. If you have a cavity, the dentist will remove the infected parts of the teeth and place fillings. However, dental fillings are only suitable for superficial cavities. If the cavity extends into the pulp chamber, the dentist will need to perform root canal therapy.
Should I get dental veneers or dental bonding?
Dental veneers and dental bonding are effective cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of your damaged teeth. If you have small cracks and chips, dental bonding can effectively address the problem. However, if you have a large crack or other concerns, such as misalignment or discoloration, you’re better off with dental veneers. Your dentist will recommend the ideal cosmetic dental procedure based on your goals.
Schedule emergency dental extraction near me
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art dental clinic specializing in the latest and most effective cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures. Our talented dentists carefully examine your teeth, determine the extent of the problem, run x-rays, and curate personalized treatment plans to restore your teeth. Our primary goal is saving your natural teeth, but we may have to resort to dramatic steps if your existing tooth is severely damaged. Please schedule an appointment to explore your chipped tooth treatment options in Houston, TX.