What to Do if You Have a Chipped or Broken Tooth
It is not a particularly nice feeling when you are having a good time, and, out of nowhere, you hit your mouth or something smacks you in the face really hard. It is something you would notice immediately even without the chalky taste in your mouth to let you know you just damaged your tooth. Relax. There is no need to worry. Millions of people have gone through similar situations and we can help.
WE HAVE THE SOLUTION
A broken or chipped tooth is not the end of the world. Sure, it can be a serious medical issue depending on how bad the damage is, but there are a handful of different solutions we can implement to address the damage and restore a smile.
Here are a few steps an individual needs to take after damaging or chipping a tooth before seeing us for an appointment and professional treatment:
- Rinse the mouth out with salt water and use over-the-counter pain medication if the tooth hurts
- Cover any sharp or jagged edges on the teeth with sugarless gum, wax paper or anything else that can help prevent the sharp edge of the tooth from cutting the mouth
- Do not chew with the damaged tooth when eating
These three steps will help prevent further damage to the tooth and reduce the odds of getting an infection. Scheduling an appointment as soon as possible is crucial to saving the tooth. During the appointment, we will discuss options and provide a professional opinion on how to proceed.
1. Dental BONDING OR FILLING
A dental bonding or filling is a simple procedure that does not even require anesthetics. We prepare the tooth by roughening it and then lathering it with an adhesive before adding a tooth-colored resin. We mold the resin to match the rest of the teeth, then harden it with an ultraviolet light. We typically use this procedure for minor chips in teeth.
We will typically use veneers in more severe cases. The procedure involves covering the front-facing part of the chipped tooth with porcelain covers that closely resemble natural teeth. These veneers can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.
Unlike veneers, which only cover the front-facing part of the teeth, dental crowns offer complete protection for the tooth. A dental crown makes is a good option for severe cases of exposed nerves and possible infection. Dental crowns can give the appearance of a complete tooth while also being fully functional.
4. DENTAL IMPLANTS
We do not use dental implants unless we need to remove the entire tooth. A complete removal is only necessary when the tooth is beyond saving. If the crack in the tooth goes below the gum line, we will likely suggest removing the tooth to install a metal post that acts as the new tooth. We can then place a natural-looking implant on the post, restoring the smile and eliminating the need for a root canal in the future.
If you find yourself in need of these treatment options to repair a broken or chipped tooth, call us today.