It’s hard to ignore a chipped or broken tooth because it’s unsightly and sometimes, even painful. If you break a tooth – while chewing, after an accident or due to decay – don’t panic, there are many ways your dentist can fix a broken tooth, so your smile is back to normal.
Caring for a broken tooth
If your tooth is broken, you should see your dentist as soon as you can. Procrastinating will only cause the tooth to damage further or become infected, possibly leading to extraction. But before you even make it to the dentist, there are few things that you can do to care for yourself:
- If you are feeling pain, you should take some painkillers to relieve the pain. You can also rinse your mouth with salt water to ease the discomfort.
- If you are hungry, be sure to eat soft foods that won’t need you to bite down on the broken tooth. Drinking beverages can also help suffice the hunger pains before you get medical attention.
- If the break has resulted in a jagged or sharp edge, cover it with a piece of sugar-free chewing gum or wax paraffin to prevent it from cutting the inside of your cheek, lip or tongue.
How to fix a broken tooth
Chipped or broken tooth treatment depends on the extent of its damage. If you only broke a small piece of your enamel, your dentist will be able to fix it in a single office visit. However, if it is severely broken or damaged, then you may need to undergo a lengthy procedure. Here are some ways your dentist may fix your broken tooth:
Dental bonding or filling
Your dentist will use filling to repair small chips. However, if the chip is in the front tooth or is visible when you smile, they will likely use bonding, which is a tooth-like composite resin that blends with your natural teeth.
Dental crown or cap
If your tooth has a lot of decay, or if a large piece of your tooth chips or breaks off, your dentist may file or grind away a section of the remaining tooth and cover it with a tooth-shaped cap or crown to protect and enhance its appearance. Crowns can be crafted from a range of materials, including ceramic, metal or porcelain fused to metal.
Root canal therapy
If the entire top part of the tooth breaks off, but the root remains in place, your dentist may conduct root canal therapy and install a post or pin and then create enough structure onto which the crown can be made. They will then cement the crown on top of the post or pin to restore your tooth.
Your dentist can also use dental veneers to fix your chipped or broken tooth. Veneers are aesthetically pleasing, since they resemble the natural teeth, and are an excellent choice for fixing front or visible tooth. Veneers are designed from tooth-like porcelain or resin composite material that covers the entire front of the tooth to replace the broken part.