Whether from crunching on ice or getting hit in the face, people may find themselves with chips and fractures in their teeth. Taking care of a chipped tooth should be done promptly in order to prevent infection and further damage.
The first thing you should do is call your dentist to schedule a visit. If you can’t meet with him right away, rinse your mouth with salt water and cover the break with a piece of sugarless gum. When you visit your dentist, the best treatment option will depend on the extent of the damage.
A dental bond replaces a missing portion of the tooth with a hard resin material. During the procedure, your dentist will etch the fractured surface with a gel to help the resin bond to it. An adhesive is then applied, and the resin is placed. Your dentist will then shape the resin to fit naturally with the rest of your teeth and thereafter cure it with ultraviolet light, completing the bond.
The procedure can be performed in a single visit and doesn’t require the use of anesthetics. Bonds are used to patch up smaller breakages.
In instances where a larger portion of the tooth has broken off, you may get a crown. Your dentist begins by filing away part of the remaining tooth structure. The structure is then built up with filling material to hold a crown. After taking an impression of the tooth and its opposing tooth, a crown is fashioned from strong porcelain material and placed onto the tooth.
For breaks that don’t require a full crown but are too extensive for a filling, onlays and inlays are the solution. These fill in the broken section with porcelain to repair the tooth and protect it from future damage. Onlays are used to replace broken tips of the tooth, whereas an inlay fills in the inner section.
If the crack or breakage extends below the gum line, then it’s necessary to replace the whole tooth with a dental implant. The tooth is extracted, and a replacement biocompatible titanium post is implanted in the jaw with an abutment. This is then covered with a porcelain crown. Implants provide a very secure way to replace lost or unsalvageable teeth.
This procedure takes two visits. During the first, your dentist will place the titanium post. After a few months, during which the post fuses with the jawbone, a crown is placed on the abutment.
If you have a fractured, cracked, or chipped tooth, Dr. Lynn at Lynn Dental Care will help restore your smile with the best treatment for your situation.