October 23, 2014

“I Chipped My Tooth; Now What?”

Though the enamel on your teeth is the hardest tissue in your body, it can’t withstand everything. If you fall and hit your mouth, bite down on a hard object or suffer from cavities, chances are that the small bit resisting melting in your mouth is actually a piece of a broken tooth. Now you may start panicking, especially if it’s one of your front teeth, but there’s really no need to. Your dentist can patch you up and ensure that your flawless smile remains perfect.

But You Need to Do a Few Things First

While your instincts may guide you to call your dentist the minute your tooth is chipped, you need to take the following steps first:What to Do When You Chip a Tooth

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water and press a piece of gauze over your tooth if you start bleeding.
  2. To control swelling, hold an ice pack on your lips or against the cheek near the tooth.
  3. If your dentist can’t see you on the same day, you’ll need to cover the tooth to prevent cavities. The best way of doing so is using dental cement, which is available through most drugstores.
  4. If your tooth starts aching, take an over-the-counter painkiller and make sure to rinse your mouth with salt water.
  5. If the break created a jagged edge, cover it with wax paraffin to prevent it from cutting your tongue or the inside of your mouth.
  6. Until your tooth is repaired, eat soft foods and avoid chewing on the same side it’s on.

Dental Treatments for Chipped Teeth

Once you get to your dentist, you’ll be able to get rid of your chipped tooth issue once and for all. Your treatment will depend on the size of your injury though. If the chip is small, your dentist will only have to smooth and polish your tooth. He or she may also resort to repairing your tooth with a filling or through bonding. The latter procedure allows your dentist to keep any repairs made to your teeth a secret.

On the other hand, if your tooth enamel suffered considerable damage, your dentist may decide to place a crown or cap on it. In this scenario, your dentist will file away the remaining tooth before covering it with a crown or cap. Now depending on your age, budget and other factors, your dentist will decide on the material used for your crown. There are mainly three options top dentists offer:

  1. Stainless Steel – Used as temporary crowns, these are used to protect children’s teeth from further decay. They and the tooth beneath pop out when a permanent tooth pushes its way up through the gums.
  2. Metal Crowns – Made from gold, palladium, chromium or nickel, these are more durable and don’t chip regardless of how hard you chew. Because of their appearance, however, they’re used for molars.
  3. Porcelain Crowns – These are made either purely from porcelain or are fused with a metal. Their main advantage is their color, which closely matches neighboring teeth. However, these crowns reflect light more brightly than natural teeth, ruining some photos at times.

Dr. Dental offers all three types of crowns, so talk to our dentists about which of these is a perfect fit for you.

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