Although the enamel covering your teeth is hard enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear, sometimes, simple things like a piece of hard candy or ice can chip or break your teeth. Similarly, hitting your teeth because of falling or other accident can cause it to break or chip. Having a chipped or broken tooth is no cause for alarm, as dentistry has come up with an abundance of solutions to repair or fix this problem.
Immediate care measures
To avoid further damage or infection, make an appointment to your dentist as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, you can try to relieve the pain with over-the-counter painkillers. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also help. If your tooth broke in a way that it caused a sharp edge, you can cover it with sugarless gum or wax paraffin to keep it from hurting your tongue or the inner part of your lips. Try not to bite down on your broken teeth and avoid eating solid foods.
Treatment methods for chipped or broken teeth
A dentist can repair a broken tooth with the help of several procedures, but the actual method depends on how badly your tooth is chipped or damaged. If your tooth is missing only a small part of the enamel, the repair procedure can be done in a single visit to the dentist. If the damage is significant, you may have to undergo a lengthier and perhaps costlier repair procedure.
A dental filling is used when the damage is small (only a small piece of tooth enamel is missing). When the damaged was caused to one of your front teeth and it is visible when you speak or smile, the dentist will correct the damage by using a tooth-coloured composite resin that is bonded onto the tooth.
If one of your front tooth needs to be repaired, a dental veneer is used to cover the entire surface of the tooth, with a ticker part used to replace the part of the tooth that has been chipped. The thin shell of porcelain or resin composite material is placed onto the surface of your tooth, and a special light is used to harden the adhesive that bonds the veneer to your tooth. The dentist will make an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental laboratory, where the actual veneer will be made. This usually takes a week.
Dental caps or crowns are used when a larger portion of the tooth broke off and the tooth in question has a lot of decay. The dentist will file away the tooth that is still left and cover it with a cap or permanent crown. Permanent crowns can be made from several materials. All-metal crowns are considered the strongest, while porcelain and resin crows have the advantage of looking very similar to natural teeth. If your dentist recommends getting a crown, expect at least two appointments to the dentist’s office.
If the break resulted in a damage so significant that the pulp was exposed, a root canal therapy has to be performed. During root canal therapy, dead pulp is removed, the root canal is cleaned, and then it is sealed.
As you can see from the above treatment possibilities, there is a solution to every type of damage caused by a break or chip, but it is important that you seek dental care immediately to avoid any inflammation or infection.