138 Fix Teeth – Fix Chipped Teeth (2 of 5)
The enamel on the teeth is one of the hardest tissues found in the body. However, it is still possible to experience damage to the enamel. It is common for patients to chip or crack their teeth after biting down on things such as nuts, candy and ice. This article will discuss how to preserve a chipped tooth and avoid infection or pain.
It is vital to contact your dentist right away if you have a chipped, broken, or fractured tooth. The delay of treatment can cause additional damage to the tooth. Delaying treatment can also result in infection which can cause additional health issues, including losing the tooth.
Chipped Tooth Treatment At Home
When it is not possible to visit the dentist right away, the following treatment options can be performed at home to help preserve the tooth and manage any discomfort:
1. Gargle with warm salt water to help minimize the risk of infection
2. If the damaged tooth contains a sharp or thin edge, place a piece of sugar-free gum or wax paraffin over the edge to help prevent further damage
3. If you need to eat before visiting the dentist, only soft foods should be consumed and avoid using the damaged tooth
4. Treat pain and discomfort with an over-the-counter pain reliever
Repairing a Chipped Tooth
The treatment options will vary based on how severe the damage is. In cases where a small area of the enamel is damaged, it can typically be treated in a single visit. When the damage is severe or the tooth is badly broken, however, it will typically requires more involved procedures and requires multiple visits to the dentist. The following methods are commonly used to repair chipped or broken teeth:
1. Bonding or Filling: In cases where a small piece of enamel is chipped, it can typically be repaired with a small filling. When the damage occurs to front tooth, a tooth-colored composite resin or bonding may be applied. Because this procedure is relatively simple, it does not typically require an anesthetic. The dentist will etch the surface of the tooth with a special product. A special adhesive will then be applied which is followed by the resin. After the resin is shaped, the material is hardened with an ultraviolet light.
2. Dental Crown or Cap: When a large portion of the tooth is damaged, a crown or cap may be required. During this procedure, the dentist will file away a small portion of the tooth and cap it with a crown. Crowns are designed to protect the tooth, while giving it natural function and appearance. When the damage effects the tooth’s pulp, there is a possibility of infection. When this occurs, the infection is removed through a root canal and the tooth is capped with a crown.
3. Dental Veneers: When one of the front teeth is broken or chipped, it is often repaired with a dental veneer. A veneer is thin shell which contains tooth-colored porcelain or a resin composite material. They are created in a dental lab and customized for each patient. Once created, they are placed on top of the existing tooth using a special type of cement.
Contact your dentist right away if you ever experience a chipped tooth. The dentist will help to determine the best treatment option and discuss expected outcomes.