How can you fix a broken or chipped tooth?
While teeth are durable and made to last a lifetime, accidents happen and you might end up with one that is either chipped or broken, resulting in pain and difficulty eating. A broken tooth will require a visit to the dentist as will all but the tiniest of cracks or chips.
There are several ways to fix a chipped or broken tooth, with the one chosen depending on the type of injury. In the case of a chipped tooth, your dentist may smooth and polish a jagged edge, which is referred to as cosmetic contouring. They may also use dental bonding, which involves slightly abrading the tooth followed by applying a contouring liquid and then a tooth-coloured composite resin. Once this is done, it will be formed into the correct shape. If you kept the chip from your tooth, the dentist may be able to reattach it.
If you are unable to see your dentist immediately and are experiencing pain, you can take acetaminophen or another over-the-counter pain reliever. Rinse your mouth with salt water, and if you have a sharp or jagged edge, it can be covered with a piece of paraffin wax. When eating, stick to soft foods, and try to avoid biting with the broken tooth. Clean the area carefully to avoid trapped food.
Some options that may be considered for a cracked or broken tooth include:
As with a chip, the dentist may be able to repair your tooth using composite material to correct the shape of the broken tooth.
Crowns will cover the entire affected area and are thus a safe and convenient option. They are typically made of metal, porcelain, or ceramic, and they will restore the tooth’s shape and appearance.
A more involved procedure, dental implants can be useful when the tooth is broken near the gum line. The process involves removing the broken tooth and fixing an implant.
Sealants are a good choice for protecting cracked teeth and will protect against the bacteria that cause cavities.
Fillings are a common dental procedure and among the safest. It is a painless and cost-effective method.
Depending on the extent of your injury, a cracked or broken tooth can lead to infection that might require a root canal. Although root canals have a bad reputation as being painful, they are no more so than a deep cavity. Today’s techniques make root canals a simple, safe, and comfortable option.
Veneers are thin, custom-made porcelain or composite resin shells that are permanently bonded to the tooth. They are also popular as a cosmetic solution among those seeking to improve their smile.
A cracked or broken tooth is a common occurrence but one that requires seeing your dentist as soon as you possibly can. Do not hesitate to contact your dentist if you suffer such an injury. They will be able to advise you on how to proceed and will be able to determine the best course of treatment.