It has happened to nearly everyone, you’re enjoying your favorite snack, candy, or meal when suddenly you realize you’re chewing on a bit of broken tooth. It doesn’t always happen this way – you may have tripped and fell or were accidentally hit in the face during a sporting event. Whatever the reason, your teeth and its protective enamel have limitations and your tooth can chip or break as a result. Never fear, your dentist can repair a chipped or broken tooth and get your smile back to its very best.
Chipped Tooth – What Should You Do First?
When your tooth is chipped, fractured, or broken, it is important to call your dentist right away for an appointment. Failing to do so could mean further damage or infection to your tooth and can even result in a loss of a tooth.
While you wait for your appointment there are several ways you can help. If your tooth hurts, over the counter pain medication like acetaminophen can alleviate pain. Rinsing your mouth with salted water is also beneficial. When eating, chose soft foods. If your chipped tooth left a sharp edge, you can use sugarless gum or paraffin wax to protect your lip, tongue, or cheek.
At the Dentist – Treatment Options
Depending on the extent of your chipped or broken tooth, your dentist will explain the options available for repair. With only a small chip, the repair will likely be completed in a single visit. A tooth with greater damage may require multiple visits. These are the options available for a chipped or broken tooth.
- Dental Filling – If the chip is enamel only, a filling may be able to repair the damage effectively.
- Dental Bonding – In the case of a chipped front tooth, bonding is the more likely the procedure. Bonding uses a composite resin which is matched to your tooth to complete the needed repair. The dentist will etch the surface of the tooth, allowing the bonding material to adhere easily. This is followed by the tooth-colored resin which is then shaped to look like your original tooth.
- Dental Veneers – If the front tooth is severely chipped or broken, a dental veneer may be used to make the repair and restore your tooth. A veneer is a thin covering, made of resin composite or porcelain, color-matched to your tooth, and applied to cover the entire front of the damaged tooth. A thicker section will be used to replace the broken portion. Your dentist will prepare the tooth, make an impression, order the veneer, for which you will have to revisit to have the veneer placed.
- Dental Crowns – If a large portion of your tooth is broken or there is a great deal of decay, your dentist will recommend a crown. A dental crown is shaped like your tooth and can be made of metal, porcelain, or resin. Metal is the strongest option, but porcelain and resin are the most aesthetically pleasing because they are made to match your tooth color. The dentist prepares the tooth by filing away the remainder of the damaged tooth. Next, an impression is made and ordered. A temporary crown will be put in place until the permanent crown arrives and you have to make a return visit to have the special crown placed.
Call Today and Restore Your Smile
Experiencing a chip or broken tooth? Contact NYCCD and discover the best ways to repair your smile today!