Was that piece of hard candy just too much? Was your child playing sports and got hit in the mouth? Were you fooling around and things took a turn south?
Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, but even it has its limits. A chipped tooth can be caused by a number of things – from trauma to cavities – but regardless of the reason Heroes Dental is here to save the day.
If you or your child have accidentally damaged a tooth, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Our dentists have the super ability to help repair your dental problems.
If you are having some discomfort or swelling in the gums or mouth because of the damaged tooth, there are a number of measures that you can take to manage the pain while you wait for treatment.
Tips for Chipped Tooth Self-Care
It might take a day or two before you’re able to see a dentist, but in the meantime, you can care for your chipped tooth in a number of ways:
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to help remove food particles that can cause infection and increase pain. Just remember to avoid extreme temperatures as it may set off sensitivity.
- Take Tylenol or some other over-the-counter pain medicine to keep the pain and swelling down.
- Stick a piece of sugarless gum or some paraffin over sharp edges to keep you from cutting your own cheek or tongue.
- Hungry? Eat soft foods like mashed potatoes or have yourself a smoothie.
Reasons for Treatment
Luckily, repairing a chipped tooth is one of the easiest procedures for a dentist to perform, and they usually have a number of options that you can choose from, depending on the severity of the case. While most people will want to correct the issue because of aesthetic reasons, it’s important to recognize that a chipped tooth can affect your oral health as well.
If dental pulp has been exposed, it can become infected, and create a need for root canal treatment. Even if it’s not that serious, your tooth can become hypersensitive and lead to chronic discomfort.
What are the Options
Because a chipped tooth is a common dental issue, most dental offices will have a number of options for you to choose from. Make an appointment at Heroes Dental to discuss your choices with our expert dentists who will get your chip-free smile back in no time.
Options will include:
- Bonding – Dental bonding is going to be the easiest and lowest-cost choice. Your dentist will apply a composite filling material to your tooth that will match in color and shape to the original. This is a simple procedure that requires little to no removal of your existing tooth surface. If you saved the chipped-off portion of the tooth, and it’s not damaged itself, the dentist can use bonding to reattach it. Bonding can last up to 10 years when properly taken care of.
- Dental Veneers – Veneers are thin, custom-made porcelain shells placed on the front of the tooth to cover repair work from chipped or broken teeth. While this option is usually left for more severe cosmetic issues, it may be the better solution if your bonding has already cracked. Veneers can last from 10 to 20 years when taken care of.
- Crowns or Caps – Crowns are similar to veneers in that they are porcelain covers for the tooth. The difference though is that a crown shields the entire tooth (front and back). Crowns are usually the best option if a large portion of the tooth is missing. Some of the existing tooth surface will be removed to allow room for the crown to fit, but the cap will help to protect from additional tooth decay, as well as keep exposed nerves safe from damage.
- Dental Implants – The American Dental Association suggests that if damage to the tooth reaches the surface of the gumline, you should have the tooth removed and replaced with a dental implant. It’s important to understand that this process will take the longest as proper time has to be provided to allow the space to heal prior to the implant. This helps to avoid infection and a future root canal. Once the healing is complete, the dentist can then add a metal post in the gumline and then install an implant that looks and feels like a real tooth.
Heroes Dental is the solution for all your cosmetic and general dentistry needs.
Sometimes accidents happen and teeth get damaged, but there are a few things you can do to protect your teeth from chipping:
- Use a mouthguard when playing sports (especially for children). These can be custom-made by your dentist so they are more comfortable to wear.
- Don’t eat hard foods or chew on tough non-food items like pencils.
- Do not use your teeth as a tool to open, tear, or turn things.
- Keep your teeth strong by practicing good oral hygiene.
A chipped tooth can be an inconvenient dental issue to deal with, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid fixing it. Contact our Laredo, Mission, or San Juan office today to restore your beautiful pearly whites.