Knowing how to fix a chipped tooth can save your smile during a dental emergency. While seeing or feeling a chip in your tooth might be upsetting, you can rest assured that it is possible to repair it in a way that makes it almost impossible to tell that it was ever broken.
My Tooth Cracked: What Do I Do?
Chipped teeth can happen if you experience a major blow to your mouth. You might also crack a tooth that has been weakened from tooth decay or a large filling. Chewing hard objects or food is a common way to crack your tooth. While your first thought might be to hide your smile, you don’t have to worry.
Dentists treat cracked teeth all the time. The only thing you need to be concerned about is being careful with your tooth until you see the dentist. You might want to chew soft food on the other side of your mouth, and you may want to abstain from eating extremely hot or cold foods if the cracked tooth is painful.
Can a Cracked Tooth Be Fixed?
A chipped tooth is one of the most common reasons for someone to visit an emergency dentist. Dental professionals have lots of experience fixing tooth fractures, which means that you can trust that you are in good hands. When you visit the dentist, they will perform an exam that helps them determine the best way to fix your chipped tooth.
How to Fix a Cracked Tooth
What to Do For a Cracked Tooth
The first thing that you need to do for a crack in your tooth is schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. This allows you to get the earliest possible appointment for treatment that restores your smile and comfort. In many cases, you might even be able to get in the same or next day since dentists know that a chipped tooth can sometimes be painful. If you are dealing with pain or tooth sensitivity, then make sure to let the dental team know. This helps them to prioritize your appointment.
While you wait to visit the dental office, there are things that you can do for your cracked tooth. Start by rinsing your mouth with warm water. This helps you to make sure that you are not bleeding anywhere in your mouth, and it can also help to rinse away any leftover food and tooth debris. This simple step greatly reduces the chances of you developing an infection.
Your next step is to make sure that there are not any sharp or jagged areas left on the tooth. Sharp parts could irritate your tongue or inner cheeks. If you find a pointy area, then you can place dental wax or sugar-free chewing gum on the spot. This serves as a temporary cushion that keeps you from cutting the soft tissues in your mouth. Keep in mind that dental wax or gum could come off your tooth so be cautious until you get to the dentist.
You may also need to manage your pain until you see your dental care provider. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually effective for this type of dental pain. Avoiding biting down on your tooth and exposing it to extreme temperatures further improves your comfort.
There is also a special kind of dental cement that you can find at many pharmacies. This can sometimes be used to hold a large chipped tooth together. It is also designed for use on broken dental crowns. If you do decide to try cementing the broken pieces together, then remember that it is temporary. This type of cement is not as strong as the materials that dentists use, which means that you’ll still need to go to your appointment for treatment.
How Does a Dentist Fix a Cracked Tooth?
When you first sit down in your dentist’s chair, they’ll perform a thorough visual exam of your tooth. They’ll also likely want to take x-rays to determine the full extent of the injury. They might also ask you if you are feeling any pain so that they can immediately begin helping you to find relief.
After your exam, the dentist will go over your options. The treatment for a cracked tooth depends upon factors such as how much of the tooth structure is left along with whether or not the dental pulp or nerve is injured.
A simple filling or dental bonding is the easiest and least expensive way to fix a cracked tooth. Small chips might even be able to be repaired without numbing your mouth. For this procedure, the dentist uses a special liquid to etch the surface of your tooth. This roughs up the enamel so that the bonding material sticks better. Your dentist will then use composite resin to form the shape of your tooth. Once it cures, you’ll be able to chew your food normally. It also helps to know that tooth-colored material can be used to match the rest of your teeth so that the repair is virtually undetectable on a front tooth.
Porcelain veneers are another option that can be used to repair a chipped tooth. A veneer is a thin piece of material that fits over your tooth. This is an option that works well when you have several teeth within your smile zone that have chips and other imperfections.
Dentists use crowns to repair chipped teeth with large breaks. If the fracture reached the dental pulp, then you might also need a root canal to prevent an infection and lingering pain. Once it is placed, a dental crown functions much like a normal tooth.
Cracked Tooth Treatment
The treatment for a cracked tooth works best when you receive prompt care that prevents the problem from getting worse. While no one likes to break a tooth, you do have many options for getting it fixed. Make sure to give your dentist a call right away so that you can schedule an appointment that repairs your tooth.