Although tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the human body, it can still be broken. People often chip or break teeth when biting down on hard foods such as ice, nuts or hard candies or chewing or biting objects not intended for it. When this happens, the chip is more than just an unsightly flaw in your smile. Chipped teeth can be uncomfortable and lead to serious infections.
Dr. Alla Brown and Dr. Amanda Newberry of Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Buford, GA want you to know your options for handling a chipped tooth before it becomes a serious issue.
What to Do for a Chipped Tooth
If you have a chipped, broken or fractured tooth, it’s important to visit your Lanier Family dentist or your area dental provider as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the damage to your chipped tooth could become even worse and require much more extensive treatment. Damaged teeth can also become infected, causing serious health risks and possibly even tooth loss.
5 Ways to Handle a Chipped Tooth at Home
It is extremely important to consult your dentist as soon as possible about repairing your chipped tooth. However, until you are able to see a dentist, you can try the following self-care measures:
- Manage the pain by taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen or another type of over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Rinse your mouth out with salt water to reduce the chances of infection.
- If the chipped tooth has a jagged or sharp edge, cover it with a piece of sugarless chewing gum or wax paraffin to protect your tongue and cheek.
- Eat only softer foods and do not bite down on the damaged tooth until it has been examined and treated by a dentist..
- Treat the tooth with Dentemp or a similar product, which are available at most drugstores and pharmacies. These are designed to temporarily cover a chipped tooth until you can consult with a dentist.
How Your Dentist Will Fix Your Tooth?
The treatment for a chipped or broken tooth depends mostly on the extent of the damage. If only a small piece of the enamel has chipped off, your dentist will most likely be able to repair the tooth in a single office visit. However, a severely broken or damaged tooth may require more complicated procedures, needing more than one office visit. Below are some treatments Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry or your area dentist may recommend to repair your chipped or broken tooth.
Filling or Bonding: If you’ve chipped away only a little piece of enamel, your dentist may be able to repair the damage with a filling like the kind used to repair cavities. If the chip occurred to a front tooth, your dentist may use more natural-looking tooth-colored composite resin to repair the damage. This relatively simple treatment, called cosmetic dental bonding, can usually be applied without any anesthetic. The dentist begins by covering the surface of the tooth with a special gel or liquid. Next, he or she will apply an adhesive, followed by the resin which they shape to match the missing piece of your tooth. Your dentist will then cure the resin using a special ultraviolet light, hardening for use biting and chewing alongside the rest of your teeth.
Dental Veneers: For chipped or broken front teeth, your dentist can help them look youthful and refreshed by applying a dental veneer. Veneers are a thin shell of tooth-colored resin composite material or porcelain that are customized to cover your damaged teeth. The veneers will be adhered to the front of your teeth using a special cement.
Dental Cap or Crown: If you have lost a large portion of the damaged tooth, your dentist may file away part of the remaining tooth and cap it with a crown, designed to protect the tooth, preserve function and restore its appearance. If the pulp is exposed by the damage, your tooth may become sensitive or even painful and could even develop an infection. When this happens, your dentist may have to remove the infected pulp through root canal therapy and then cap the treated tooth with a crown.
Remember, do not wait to repair your chipped tooth. Contact Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry or your area dentist to schedule an appointment.
Repairing a Chipped Tooth in Buford, GA
Remember, you should not wait to have your chipped or damaged tooth repaired. If you live in the Buford, GA area and have a chipped tooth or any other dental issue, trust Dr. Brown or Dr. Newberry of Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to restore the health and appearance of your smile. Call (678) 359-4707 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.