Your teeth are one of the sturdiest tissues in the body; however, they are not indestructible. Despite their nature, everyday activities like sudden impact due to falls or biting down on hard foods can lead to a broken tooth. You may be wondering what you can do for a chipped tooth. Well, for starters, pick up the phone and dial your dentist’s number to make an appointment. Meanwhile, read the instructions to follow.
Immediate Measures To Take After This Happens
First of all, do not hit the panic button. Next, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. However, getting an immediate appointment does not always happen. Therefore, in the meantime, take measures like the following:
- Rinse your mouth and floss teeth: Cleanse your mouth by rinsing and gently flossing to remove potential irritants.
- Go for a temporary fix: Utilize dental wax or temporary bonding material from a local drug store to shield the chipped end of your tooth.
- Over-the-counter medication to manage pain: Manage discomfort and reduce inflammation; take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen.
- Cold Compress: Apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek or face to minimize swelling.
- Temporary Shielding: Consider using dental wax or bonding material to create a protective barrier for your tongue and gums.
Treatment Options for Broken Tooth
The good news is that there are multiple treatments available for broken or chipped teeth, each tailored to the severity of the damage.
1. Dental Bonding
It is an effective method that works well for smaller chips. Your dentist will mold to create a composite material for placing it over the damaged area, creating a natural-looking cover. With proper care, bonding can last for up to ten years.
2. Tooth Veneers
In case the damage is deep, veneers are the best route to move forward. These porcelain covers provide a smooth, natural look, enhancing your overall smile. Veneers can last a decade or two easily.
3. Dental Crowns
Crowns cover the entire tooth, which makes them ideal for significant damage. This method not only restores your smile but also prevents further issues. While the process requires two visits, the results are durable and lasting.
4. Dental Fillings
If you are in search of a repair option for less visibly broken teeth, especially molars, choose fillings. Newer materials, such as porcelain, closely resemble natural teeth, offering a more aesthetically pleasing option.
5. Root Canals
If your chip is on the severe side, where a significant portion of the tooth is broken, a root canal may be recommended. This procedure involves placing a post in the tooth’s canal to rebuild its structure before fitting a crown.
Prevention and Long-Term Care
While you cannot prevent accidents from happening, adopting preventive measures helps maintain a healthy smile. Steer clear of using your teeth for tasks other than chewing food, and avoid eating hard candies that can cause damage to your teeth. Moreover, do not skip regular dental check-ups for early detection of potential issues before they escalate.
Dealing with a chipped or broken tooth immediately is crucial to prevent further complications. Whether you opt for bonding, veneers, crowns, or fillings, your dentist will determine the best approach based on the extent of the damage. If you want more information, contact Dr. Paichun (Patrick) Huang, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) at Briar Forest Dental Group. Dial (713) 784-4430 to connect with us. Or visit our clinic at 1988 Wilcrest Dr G, Houston, TX 77042, United States.