How To Fixed A Chipped Tooth

An illustration of a chipped toothGot a chipped tooth? Here’s what to do.

Your teeth are generally quite strong, but they have their limits.

If you bite down on something too hard, have a fall or take a blow to the face, you could end up with a chipped tooth.

If you break, chip or fracture a tooth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

If you don’t get it fixed right away, it could become infected or more damaged.

That could lead to you losing the tooth.

Read below to find out what to do if you damage your tooth and your treatment options.

How To Care For A Broken Tooth

In the time between damaging your tooth and visiting a dentist, it’s important to reduce pain and look after the area.

You should take preventative measures to make sure it doesn’t become any more damaged or infected.

Take over the counter painkillers and rinse your mouth with saltwater to prevent infection.

Cover any sharp or jagged edges with wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum to make sure you don’t cut your teeth and gums on it.

When you eat, try to have soft foods and avoid biting down on the broken tooth.

How Is A Chipped Tooth Treated?

The way your chipped tooth will be treated depends on a number of factors.

If you have just chipped a small part off of the tooth, a simple filling should solve the problem.

A tooth that is badly damaged will likely require a more complicated treatment.

Below are some treatment options your dentist may undertake.

Dental Filling Or Bonding

If you’ve just chipped a small bit off of the tooth enamel, it can usually be repaired with a simple filling.

If you can see the damage when you smile, or the repair is to a front tooth, a procedure called bonding may be opted for instead.

This uses a tooth coloured composite resin so the repair can’t be seen.

Bonding is a simple procedure. It doesn’t usually require numbing of the tooth.

A dentist will etch the tooth surface with a liquid or gel to roughen it and make sure the bonding material sticks to it.

Adhesive material will then be applied to the tooth, followed by a tooth-coloured resin.

The dentist will shape the material to look like a tooth and use ultraviolet light to solidify the material.

Dental Cap Or Crown

If the damage to the tooth is more severe, maybe a large piece has broken off, or there is a lot of decay, your dentist may decide to cover it with a crown.

A crown will protect the tooth from further damage and look natural, so nobody will notice any damage was ever there.

First, a dentist will use a shade guide to determine the right shade that matches your tooth colour.

Then, they will remove part of the damaged tooth so it is in the ideal shape to have a crown fitted to it.

After this, they will take an impression of your tooth structure.

This is sent off to a lab where they will use the impression to create an accurate crown that fits your tooth and the surrounding area perfectly.

A temporary tooth cover will usually be provided whilst you are waiting for this to be made.

Once your crown is ready, you can return to the dentist for it to be fitted.

The dentist will cement it onto the remaining structure of the damaged tooth. This should stay in place for decades with no issues.

Dental Veneers

Veneers are one of the best looking options for repairing a chipped tooth.
They are commonly used to repair chips on the front teeth because of this.

Veneers are made from two materials, porcelain and composite resin. They are bonded to the front of the tooth.

Veneers are very durable, and when looked after, they can last for decades.

You can think of them like false nails, but for your teeth.

During this procedure, the dentist will usually prepare your tooth by removing a little bit of enamel (around 0.3 to 1.2 mm from the tooth surface).

An impression will then be made of the tooth and sent to a dental laboratory, where the veneer will be made.

The veneer will usually be ready in a couple of weeks. When it’s ready, you will return to the dentist to have it fitted.

To fit it, a dentist will etch the surface of the tooth with a liquid that will roughen it up.

A special cement-like substance is then applied to the veneer, and it is placed on the tooth.

The dentist will usually have a tool that will activate the chemicals in the cement type substance, and help it harden to the tooth.

Root Canal Therapy

You’ve definitely heard of the dreaded root canal therapy.

If the damage to your tooth is bad enough to expose the pulp (the innermost part of the tooth that contains the nerves and blood vessels.), it is possible that bacteria from your mouth can enter and infect it.

Infections like this are often signified by pain, changes in colour and sensitivity to heat.

If pulp tissue dies and is not removed, your tooth could get infected and need to be removed.

Root canal therapy works by removing the dead pulp, cleaning up the root canal, and sealing it.

Although it sounds scary, root canal therapy is not any more painful than having a cavity filled.

Broken Or Knocked-Out Teeth

If you completely knock a tooth out of your mouth, you still have a chance to save it.
In many cases, teeth can be re-implanted.

Teeth that are re-implanted within 30 minutes of being knocked out have the highest chance of survival.

Make sure to see a dentist straight away in this situation.

Here are the steps you should take for the best outcome after damaging a tooth.

Gather all tooth fragments that have been separated from your mouth.

Make sure you don’t damage them though, as this may cause issues with reimplantation.

It is very important that you don’t touch the root of the tooth.

If there are any dirt and debris on the tooth, rinse it in a bowl of lukewarm water for no more than 10 seconds. Do not scrape, scrub or use alcohol as this may damage the tooth.

Next, re-insert the tooth if you can or store it.

Rinse your mouth with warm water. Then, re-insert the tooth into the socket it came out of.

Once it is in place, bite gently on a clean cloth or gauze pad to keep it in place.

If it is not possible to re-insert the tooth, store it in whole milk or in between your cheek and gums to stop it from drying out.

It is also important to treat the symptoms you will experience as a result of damaging your tooth.

Make sure to control the bleeding with a clean gauze or cloth.

For pain and swelling, apply an ice pack and take ibuprofen.

The next thing you should do is to seek dental help straight away.

Go to the emergency room and make sure you bring any affected teeth or tooth fragments with you.

Need Help To Fix A Chipped Tooth?

If you need help fixing a chipped tooth, get in touch with us today to book a consultation.
Our fantastic dental team are more than happy to take a look at your tooth and create an appropriate treatment plan.

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