Despite being the hardest tissue in the human body, tooth enamel can still break. People frequently break or chip teeth when biting down on hard food such as ice, nuts or candy. Chipped and broken teeth can be embarrassing but there are more serious issues at stake. These injuries can cause discomfort and lead to serious infections. Dr. Albert Lee, Dr. Thomas Bonfiglio, and Dr. Edward Vesely of Lee, Bonfiglio Vesely & Associates in Annapolis, MD want you to know your options for treating a chipped tooth before it becomes a serious issue.
What to Do for a Broken Tooth
If you find yourself with a chipped, broken or fractured tooth, it’s important to visit Lee Bonfiglio Veseley or your local dental practice as soon as possible. If you delay, your chipped tooth could be damaged even further and require much more extensive treatment. Worse still, the damaged tooth could become infected, possibly resulting in serious health risks and possible tooth loss.
5 Ways to Fix a Chipped Tooth at Home
It is important that you see a dentist as soon as possible to repair your chipped or broken tooth. However, if you are unable to see a dentist immediately 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 risk 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 use the damaged tooth to bite or chew until it has been treated by a dentist..
- Treat the tooth with Dentemp or a similar product, designed to temporarily cover a chipped tooth until you can consult with a dentist. These products are available at most drugstores and pharmacies.
How Your Dentist Will Fix Your Broken Tooth?
The treatment for a chipped or broken tooth is largely dependent on how severe the damage is. 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 badly broken or damaged tooth may require more complicated procedures, which may require more than one office visit. Below are some treatments your Lee, Bonfiglio, Vesely & Associates dentist or your area dentist may recommend to repair your chipped or broken tooth.
Filling or Bonding: If you’ve chipped away a small piece of enamel, your dentist may be able to repair the damage with a composite resin filling like they use to repair cavities. If the chip occurred to a front tooth, tooth-colored composite resin may be used to repair the damage. This process, known as cosmetic dental bonding, is relatively simple and can usually be applied without any anesthetic. Your tooth will be cleaned and treated with a special gel or liquid. Next, your dentist will apply an adhesive, followed by the resin which is shaped to match the chipped or broken off piece of your tooth. Your dentist will then cure the resin using an ultraviolet light which makes it hard enough to use for biting and chewing along with the rest of your teeth.
Dental Veneers: For chipped or broken front teeth, your Lee, Bonfiglio, Vesely & Associates dentist or your local dentist look healthy and flawless by applying a dental veneer. Veneers are a thin shell of tooth-colored resin composite material or porcelain that are created and customized in a lab to cover your damaged teeth. Your dentist will then attach them to the surface of your existing teeth using special cement.
Dental Cap or Crown: If you have lost a large percentage of a tooth, a dentist may file down the remaining tooth and cap it with a dental crown. Dental crowns are designed to protect a tooth, while also restoring its function and aesthetic appearance. If the pulp – tissue inside the tooth – is exposed by the damage to your tooth enamel, your tooth may develop an infection within. When this situation occurs, 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 Lee, Bonfiglio, Vesely & Associates or your area dentist to schedule an appointment.
Repairing a Chipped Tooth in Annapolis, MD
Don’t wait to fix your chipped or damaged tooth or the damage and discomfort could become even worse. If you live in the Annapolis, MD area and have a chipped tooth or any other dental issue, trust the experienced dentists of Lee, Bonfiglio, Veseley & Associates to restore the health and appearance of your smile. Call (410) 989-8298 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.