Chipped and Broken Teeth
Your teeth are covered with enamel, one of the toughest mineralized tissues in your body. However, it has its strength limits. So, it is no surprise that your teeth can chip or break due to a variety of reasons.
Common causes for teeth breaking and chipping can result from a fall, or biting on hard food, and a tooth is vulnerable to breaking or chipping if it already has tooth decay.
Do Chipped and Broken Teeth Require Emergency Dental Care?
Tooth fractures should be taken seriously but do not require emergency dental care. However, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible, as the damaged tooth can develop an infection, leading to the loss of that tooth and extreme pain.
In the meantime, you can take an OTC pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and rinse your mouth with salt water to numb the pain and reduce the chances of infection. Avoid putting pressure on the broken tooth, and eat soft foods that are easy to chew.
Floss regularly to get rid of deposited particles around the broken tooth, and if the edge of the damaged tooth is jagged and sharp, cover it with dental wax.
A dental filling is enough if you have chipped off a small piece of your tooth enamel. However, if the broken teeth are visible when you smile, the dentist uses a bonding procedure, which uses a composite resin that resembles the color of your natural teeth. Other treatment options include veneers, dental crowns, and fillings.
Dental bonding involves creating a natural-looking cover over the chip using a composite material. Bonds are set with a blue light and can last up to 10 years.
Dental crowns are porcelain covers that cover the entirety of your broken tooth. They are opted for when the break damages a significant portion of the original tooth, as they prevent further damage by reducing tooth decay and pain from the damaged and exposed nerves.
Dental fillings are used to fix and repair a broken tooth that is not very visible. In the past, metal fillings were used as a standard option, but nowadays, porcelain material is used that resembles the color of your natural teeth.
Veneers differ from dental crowns as they are thinner and cover the front of the broken tooth. A porcelain cover is placed over the individual damaged tooth or several teeth to create a uniform look that upgrades the look of your smile.
When your tooth's dental pulp or nerves become exposed to bacteria, it must be removed to prevent pain and infection. Root canal therapy removes the damaged and diseased pulp, cleans the root canal, and seals it with a dental filling. Dr. Robert Malone specializes in root canal therapy.
Chipped and broken teeth need to be inspected by a dentist, so if you are going through a similar experience, contact us at (760) 546-5557. At Robert J. Malone DDS, we will always provide expert dental services to our patients.