A strong, healthy set of teeth is a great asset. It promotes better digestion, improves your smile, and boosts your confidence. On the other hand, having a tooth that’s broken, chipped, or cracked can affect your appearance, give you severe pain and discomfort, and lead to more serious dental issues.
If you have a chipped tooth, don’t wait to get it repaired. There are treatments for this dental problem and ways to bring back your tooth to its former glory. Here are the things you can do about a chipped tooth.
Immediate Care for a Chipped Tooth
The moment you encounter a chipped or fractured tooth, set an appointment with your dentist for the soonest time available. Meanwhile, you can follow these helpful self-care steps to help ease your tooth ache and lower the risk of further dental issues.
- Instantly rinse your mouth with lukewarm saltwater.
- Floss your teeth to remove excess food caught in between your teeth. This will lessen pressure on your chipped tooth and avoid aggravating any wound.
- Protect your gums and tongue from unwanted cuts and scratches by using short term dental filling such as dental wax or sugar-free gum to cover up the spiky edge of the tooth.
- Reduce inflammation and pain sensation by applying clove oil around the painful areas.
- Icing your face or cheek to reduce inflammation and can also help numb the area around the chipped tooth.
- If the sensation of pain and inflammation persists, take non-prescription drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
- When eating, consume soft foods only and avoid using the fractured tooth for biting down.
- If you are into sports or experience teeth grinding when asleep, wear a gumshield for protection.
Treatment Options for a Chipped Tooth
Depending on the severity of tooth damage, the treatment for your chipped tooth will vary. If the enamel of your tooth broke off only a tiny portion, the repair can take place in a single appointment. However, if your tooth is badly damaged it may require a more extensive treatment procedure.
Whatever extent of the damage tooth is, a dentist will surely be able to draw up the most suitable means of rehabilitating your broken tooth and put back that glorious smile on your face. Here are some popular options your dentist may suggest to restore your chipped tooth.
A tiny piece of enamel chipped off from your tooth will only require a dental filling. This procedure is the most common practice to treat a broken tooth that is hardly visible, just like the molar tooth. Tooth-like insoluble synthetic resins are used to fill in the chipped tooth in this particular dental procedure.
Bonding is one of the most common and inexpensive methods to repair chipped teeth. Only minimal preparations are involved and do not require anaesthesia to numb the tooth. In tooth bonding, the tooth is etched with a gel to roughen it so that the bonding material will cling or attach to the tooth.
Next, a tooth-colored composite resin is applied and moulded to resemble a natural tooth. Then the moulded resin will be exposed to a UV light to harden it. For the final touch, your dentist will polish the appearance of the mould and your tooth bond is done. If taken care of properly, dental bonds can last up to ten years.
A dental crown is a customised porcelain cap set to cover your tooth. This tooth-shaped cap is usually placed to restore the original size, shape, and appearance of your tooth while improving its strength. In general, dental caps are the best way to repair a cracked tooth, prevent further tooth damage, and avoid tooth pain due to exposed nerves.
Putting up a tooth crown often requires two dental sessions. In your first session, your dentist will check if there is a root problem in your damaged tooth. If there is none, anaesthesia will be applied and your dentist may file away a big enough portion of the remaining tooth to allow the placement of a crown.
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Using a putty-like substance, your dentist will create an imprint of the tooth where the crown will be placed as well as the tooth opposite to it. The imprints will be sent to a lab where the crown will be prepared. While waiting for the crown, your dentist will install a temporary acrylic crown.
Your second session may take place after two to three weeks. During this visit, your dentist will now replace the temporary crown with the lab-made permanent crown and check for an exact fit. Afterwards, your dentist will cement the crown into place permanently.
A severely chipped tooth requires dental veneers. Veneer tooth repair means installing a porcelain tooth cover over one or more damaged front teeth. This dental procedure will give your chipped tooth a smooth and natural appearance similar to your original tooth, or even better.
The dental veneer method is done in two visits. During the first visit, the procedure starts by removing a small enamel coating from your tooth surface. Next, tooth impressions will be made and sent to a lab that will prepare the veneer in a week or two. In the second visit, the veneer installation will take place. Your dentist will first roughen the prepared tooth by etching its surface.
Once done, the veneer is positioned correctly to the front surface of the tooth, apply the cement and harden it with the use of a special light. Veneer dental treatment can mimic appealing natural white teeth and improve tooth health that can endure twenty years of usage.
Root Canal Therapy
If a large part of your tooth is chipped off and exposes the tooth pulp where nerves and blood vessels are located, root canal therapy is the best way to treat it. Root canal therapy is a procedure that aims to remove damaged or dead pulp, clean and reshape the root canal, and seal it afterwards. This endodontic treatment prevents the spread of tooth infection coming from dead pulp tissue and saves the affected tooth from extraction.
Performed by endodontists, the procedure involves the removal of the dead nerve and pulp as a start. Next, is the cleaning and sealing of the root canal to avoid further spread of infection. Then, your dentist will start building up the tooth structure by placing a tooth canal pin or post. Lastly, a permanent crown will be installed to restore your overall tooth appearance and strength.
Exodontia or commonly known as tooth extraction simply means removing the tooth. Tooth extraction happens if a damaged tooth can no longer be fixed with a dental filling, bonding, crown, veneers, or even root canal therapy as a dental treatment. This means that the damage is too severe for the tooth to undergo restoration, and needs to be removed from its bone socket.
Tooth removal comes in two types: simple and surgical extraction. A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that is visible inside the mouth. After applying anaesthesia, your dentist loosens a tooth from the socket using an “elevator” and eventually removes the tooth with dental forceps.
In a more complex case, a surgical extraction is practiced if a tooth has broken off below your gum line. The procedure is performed by an oral surgeon by creating a small cut into your gum and carefully taking off the damaged tooth.
A dental implant procedure can also be performed if you need to replace the roots of a tooth artificially. A dental implant looks like a screw that is created from titanium which is proven to be perfectly compatible with the human body. An implant involves the attachment of the titanium screw to the bones in our jaw as well as in the gum tissue. This will serve as a stable base for the installation of dental crowns and bridges, support for dentures, and tooth replacement procedures.
If you want a restoration process for your tooth replacement in the most natural looks, a dental implant is the best option.
Fix Your Chipped Tooth at GC Dental Solutions
What treatment to choose for your chipped tooth should depend on the severity of the tooth and what your dentist recommends. We are your local Helensvale dentist who can provide a range of dental treatments to fix your chipped tooth. Whether it be a dental filling, tooth implant, or dental veneer; our experienced dental practitioners can help with your needs. We have a purposed built and comfortable clinic set up to make you feel relaxed during your visits.