How to Fix a Chipped or Broken Tooth

How to Solve the Problem of a Broken or Chipped Tooth

Posted on : 9th Mar 2018

Have you ever accidently chipped your tooth from something surprisingly everyday like on ice or a piece of hard candy? Though the though enamel is the hardest part, there are some limits to its strengths. If you receive a blow to your face, fall suddenly or bite on hard foods, especially if your teeth are not well maintained then this can be the reason why your tooth might break or chip.If you discover there is chipped or broken tooth, consult with your dentist for emergency dental care and get it fixed immediately.

How to take care of broken or chipped tooth

If you have chipped, broken or fractured tooth, your dentist can help with the right treatment. Otherwise, your tooth might get infected or damaged in future thus, causing you to lose the tooth. It is advised to follow these self-care tips to protect your teeth from damage.

  • If you have severe pain in the tooth, take acetaminophen or over-the-counter pain reliever. Alternatively, you may rinse mouth with salt water.
  • If the break has lead to sharp edge, try to cover the tooth with sugarless chewing gum or a piece of wax paraffin. This will prevent from cutting your tongue or the inside of your cheeks or lips.
  • While eating, take soft foods and avoid biting down on broken tooth.

The treatment for chipped or broken tooth will depend on the severity of the damage. If a small piece of enamel is broken, the repair work can be done by visiting the dentist for once. A damaged or broken tooth mightbe a lengthy and costly procedure. Let’s discuss about some ways your dentist may repair your chipped or broken tooth.

Dental filling

If you have chipped off a piece of tooth enamel, your dentist might repair the damage with a filling. If the repair is for the front tooth or visiblewhile smiling, your dentist will use a procedure known as bonding that uses a tooth-colored composite resin.

The process of dental bonding does not require numbing your tooth. The dentist etches the surface by using a gel or liquid to roughen it and make the material stick to it. After this, the dentist applies an adhesive material to your tooth which is then followed by a resin. After shaping bonding material that looks like natural tooth, the dentist uses an ultraviolet light for hardening the material.

Dental crown

If a large piece of tooth breaks off or there is tooth decay, the dentist might file away part of the tooth and cover it by using a dental crown or cap that protects tooth and improve its appearance.

Permanent crowns are usually made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, all ceramic or resin. Different types have their own benefits. While all-metal crowns are considered to be the strongest, resin and porcelain crowns are usually made to look similar to natural tooth.

Getting a dental crown requires two visits to your dentist at the emergency dental treatment center. At the first visit, the dentist may take X-rays for checking tooth root and surrounding bone. If there are no more problems, he will numb your tooth and surrounding gum and then remove remaining tooth to create enough space for crown. If a chip or break has left larger piece of the tooth missing, the dentist may use filling material to build up tooth for holding the crown.

After this, he will use putty-like material to create tooth impression receiving the crown and opposing tooth. The impressions are then sent to the laboratory where the crown is made and fitted. In the meantime, your dentist may place temporary crown that is either made of acrylic or thin metal.

During the second visit which is usually after two to three weeks, the dentist will remove temporary crown and check the fit of permanent one before cementing it into the place.

Dental veneers

If the front tooth is broken or chipped, a veneer can give it complete and healthy look. A dental veneer is a thin shell made of tooth-colored resin or porcelain composite material that covers the entire front of the tooth with a thicker partfor replacing broken part of the tooth.

In order to prepare tooth, the dentist will remove near about 0.3 to 1.2 millimeters of the enamel from its surface. After this, he will create tooth impression that is then sent to a dental laboratory for making the veneer. Once the veneer gets ready, (which is usually after one to two weeks), you will have to see the dentist again for getting it placed.

The dentist will at first etch the tooth surface with a liquid to make the area rough for placing dental veneer. After this, he will apply special cement to the veneer and place it on the prepared tooth. Once the dental veneer is in its position, the dentist will use special light to activate chemicals in the cement for making it hard quickly.

Root canal therapy

If a broken or chipped tooth is large enough to expose the pulp – the center of the tooth that consist of blood vessels and nerves, bacteria can enter from the mouth and cause infection to the pulp. If the tooth hurts, changes its color, or is highly sensitive to heat or cold, the pulp may probably get damaged. The pulp tissue may die and the tooth can get infected and need to be extracted if it is not removed. Root canal therapy is about removing dead pulp, cleaning root canal and finally, sealing it.

Root canal treatment might be performed by endodontists and most of them involve minimal pain than having a cavity filled. In most cases, the remaining tooth needs to be covered with a crown that protects weak tooth.

Your dentist can provide valuable advice on emergency dental treatment in situations when you are suffering from broken or chipped teeth.

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