Have you ever chipped a tooth? If so, do you remember the panic that set in immediately after? If you ever chip a tooth, Arnold Dentistry is here to remind you to relax. There are many solutions to repair a fractured tooth.
Whether the fracture happens on a front or back tooth, it's critical to call your dentist, schedule an appointment and ask for advice on how to prevent further damage to the tooth.
When a tooth is chipped the pain level can be from minimal to intense. Even if you feel little to no pain, it is still important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
When nurturing a fractured or chipped tooth, a few things you can do before seeing your dentist are:
- Stay away from hot or cold food and beverages
- If your tooth is in pain, ask what the best over the counter pain-relief option is best
- If you're dealing with a severe fracture, rinse with WARM water and use COOL compresses to reduce swelling
- Eat soft foods and avoid chewing on the chipped tooth
Ask your dentist if you can cover the sharp part of the chipped tooth with dental wax to help prevent a cut on the inside of your mouth. This will depend on the extent of the fracture.
Treatment options depend on the severity of the fracture. A minor chip might only need to be smothered over to prevent irritation of the tongue and cheek. However, an extensive chip or fracture needs to be completely restored. Here are a few different options to consider:
Filling or Bonding
If you have a minor or moderate fracture, it can usually be fixed with a dental filling. For teeth that are visible when you smile, a tooth-colored bond called composite resin will be used. For more elaborate repairs, the composite resin can actually be shaped to look like a natural tooth. Most of the time, it's not noticeable to the naked eye.
Dental veneers are thin composite or porcelain shells that cover the front of a tooth and mask the fracture. Typically, during the first two appointments, your dentist will remove a thin layer from the front of the tooth and take impressions that are then sent to the lab. Then they will begin etching the front surface of the tooth with liquid solution and attaching the veneer.
If your tooth has a large fracture, a full-coverage dental crown is likely the best way to repair it. Much like veneers, dental crowns take two appointments and require very similar preparation. Most crowns are made from porcelain, ceramic or resin fused to metal (porcelain is the most popular material).
If you're in the process of doing something and think, "this might not be good for my teeth", we suggest you listen to yourself and stop what you're doing. Teeth are not indestructible and many people find out the hard way. Whether it's biting down too hard on a piece of food, chewing on ice or opening a bottle with your teeth... re-thinking your decision could save time and money.
But sometimes, accidents can't be prevented. No matter how you fracture or chip your tooth, Arnold Dentistry is here to help! If you have a dental emergency such as a broken tooth, contact us today and schedule an appointment with one of our friendly staff members!