Repairing a Chipped or Broken Tooth
If you have chipped off just a small piece of tooth enamel, your dentist may repair the damage with a filling. If the repair is to a front tooth or can be seen when you smile, your dentist will likely use a procedure called bonding, which uses a tooth-colored composite resin.
A broken tooth can happen for multiple reasons such as chewing ice, biting hard candy, opening something with your teeth and many others. The enamel that covers your teeth is the hardest tissue in the body, but teeth has strength limits. Tripping and falling, an injury to the face, or just biting down on something hard can result in a chipped tooth. If you have broken or chipped a tooth, don’t panic. Your dentist can fix it.
How do you care for a broken or chipped tooth?
If you break, chip, or fracture your tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible. If you don’t you run the risk of your tooth being damaged further.
Chipped or broken tooth self-care:
- If you break or chip tooth and it causes you pain, rinse your mouth with salt water and take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen.
- If you have a sharp or jagged edge when you chip or break your tooth, cover it with a piece of paraffin wax or sugarless chewing gum to keep it from cutting your tongue, lip, or cheek.
- If you need to eat, eat soft foods and avoid biting with the broken tooth.
- Treatment will depend on how bad the tooth has been damaged. If a small piece of enamel breaks off, the dentist can usually repair it in a single office visit. If the tooth is badly damaged, repairing your tooth may require a more lengthy and costly procedure.
How can a chipped tooth be repaired?
- Dental filling – Teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, or tooth-colored materials called composite resin fillings.
- Dental bonding – Bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material is applied and hardened with a ultraviolet light, which “bonds” the material to the tooth to restore or improve a person’s smile.
- Dental cap or crown – There is no difference between a cap or a crown. Dental crowns were referred to as caps in the past, and even today you may still hear the term ‘cap’ used by older people and by those who do not work in dentistry. Most dentists today use the term ‘crown’ instead. Permanent crowns can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, or ceramic.
- Root canal therapy – A dental procedure involving the removal of the soft center of the tooth, the pulp.
- Dental crown – Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that can be placed over your tooth. Think of it like a snug hat for your tooth. The crown restores the tooth’s shape, size, strength and appearance. The dental crown usually takes two visits to the dentist’s office.
- Dental veneers – Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance.
What do I do if I break my tooth and knocked-out ?
- Handle teeth carefully by collecting the tooth or tooth fragments touching only the crown, the top part of the tooth.
- Do not touch the root of the tooth.
- Do not scrub, scrape, or use alcohol to remove dirt.
- Re-insert or store the tooth after rinsing your mouth with warm water.
- If possible, reinsert permanent teeth into the correct sockets and have the person bite on a gauze pad to hold the tooth in place.
- If you can’t reinsert permanent teeth, or for baby teeth or teeth fragments, store them in whole milk or between your cheek and gum to prevent drying.
- For pain and swelling, apply a cool compress. Encourage a child to suck on an ice pop.
- For pain, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- See your dentist or go to an emergency room and take the teeth or teeth fragments with you.
If you break or chip your tooth make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to fix your teeth, protect your smile, and ease your pain. If you knocked-out a permanent tooth this is considered a dental emergency. Teeth can be re-implanted in many cases. A permanent tooth that is re-implanted within 30 minutes has the highest chance of success.
Schedule a dental appointment with the Plano dentists and Melissa dentist
Fred Haight DDS is an emergency dentist located in Plano, TX and Melissa, TX. To request an emergency appointment for a chipped or broken tooth, call 972-527-5555 or request an appointment online. While you wait to see our dentist, it’s important to protect your tooth so it stays intact. Contact Haight Family Dentistry in at our Plano or our Melissa, TX by calling 972-527-5555 or request an appointment online.