A tooth crack or chip can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and embarrassing, depending on the seriousness of the damage and which tooth is affected. However, Vista family and cosmetic dentistry can give you peace of mind by giving you options for fixing the issue. Your dentist can restore your smile and confidence in a few visits.
Steps to Take After Having a Cracked or Chipped Tooth
Unless the tooth chip is minor, you may have to visit a dentist. In the meantime, you must focus on relieving the pain you may be experiencing and protecting the affected tooth. While you may not require treatment for tiny cracks and surface lines, you should consider visiting a dentist. This way, the dentist can evaluate your dental situation and determine the extent of the crack or chip. Even if it looks minor, the tooth may be damaged from the inside.
Right after your tooth cracks or chips, ensure you swish with warm water immediately to clean out the tooth and avoid infection. If you experience pain and swelling, apply a cold compress. Then, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Repairing a Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Treatment for a chipped or cracked tooth depends on the severity of the damage and the location. In general, treatments include the following:
- Cosmetic contouring. Contouring is an ideal treatment for slight tooth damage. This procedure does not require anesthesia. This involves using tools for removing some enamel from your teeth to change the length or shape. After your dentist has evenly contoured the affected tooth, they will polish it so it looks natural.
- Dental bonding. This procedure can be completed in one visit. This involves roughing up the tooth’s surface, applying a conditioning liquid to the tooth, and applying a tooth-colored composite resin. Your dentist will form the tooth into the right shape. Sometimes, the dentist may reattach the tooth’s broken piece.
- Root canal treatment and dental crown. When the crack or chip has gone below the tooth’s surface, you may need an extensive procedure like a root canal procedure. This involves cleaning the inner part of the affected tooth, filling, and sealing it. Then, a dental crown or filling will be used to cap the tooth.
- Tooth extraction and dental implant. If the damage is extensive enough that the tooth cannot be saved, an extraction may be necessary. In this case, your dentist may recommend that you get a dental implant to replace the extracted tooth.