Chipped or Broken Tooth Treatment & Repair
Teeth are pretty strong, but there’s a limit to what they can take. If you experience an impact to a tooth or bite down on something hard, a tooth can be chipped or broken. If the tooth broke badly, leaving jagged edges and exposing the inside of the tooth, it will bother you so much that you’ll be eager to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. But even if the chip is relatively small, you should see your dentist within a few days of the incident.
When is a Broken Tooth an Emergency?
Make your appointment right away. Be sure to tell the receptionist how urgent your problem is. If you aren’t experiencing discomfort, waiting for a few days won’t be a problem – but don’t leave it too long either. Your broken tooth enamel leaves room for infection and decay to develop.
A badly broken tooth constitutes a dental emergency. Most dentists will leave a little time free in their schedule to deal with urgent cases such as yours. If that time has already been reserved, they will do their utmost to refer you to a colleague who may have time available.
How do Dentists Repair Broken Teeth?
The techniques your dentist uses to repair your teeth will depend on the severity of the damage. Small chips are very common and can be repaired within minutes and without anaesthesia. After preparing the surface of the tooth, the dentist uses tooth-coloured resin to rebuild the tooth. A skilled dentist can make this repair so that the there’s no visible sign of the damage sustained.
The material used for bonding is more susceptible to staining, however, and it isn’t the strongest or longest-lasting solution. As an alternative, you can opt for porcelain veneers to cover up the chipped tooth. You dentist will need you to make two appointments for this procedure.
If a greater volume of tooth has broken away, the dentist will first check whether there is enough tooth left to work with. Supposing that there is, he or she will recommend a filling or a crown. Once again, your tooth is restored and can look perfectly normal after it has been repaired.
However, if the tooth has broken so badly that it can’t be mended with bonding or with crowns, the dentist may need to extract the tooth. In this instance, dental professionals will recommend one of the tooth replacements techniques. Of these, dentures are the least effective for your oral health and comfort while implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth and are the best solution.
While You Wait for Your Appointment
Sometimes, chipped or broken teeth can leave very sharp edges. Sugar-free gum makes a handy temporary cover to protect the inside of your mouth from injury. I you have pain and swelling, use an anti-inflammatory painkiller. A cold compress applied to the face (not inside the mouth) will help to bring down swelling.
Be very careful how you eat and stick to soft foods if at all possible. The tooth will be fragile until it has been repaired. You may also find that hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks cause a painful reaction.
Lastly, don’t worry! As long as your dentist attend to your broken tooth promptly, there is a very good chance that you won’t lose it. Even if you do, modern tooth replacement techniques can make your pearly whites as good as new once again.