Despite the fact that it is the hardest tissue in the human body, tooth enamel can still break. People often damage their teeth, chipping or breaking them, when biting down on hard food such as ice, nuts or hard candies. If you develop a chipped or broken tooth, it is more than just a cosmetic flaw in your smile. Chipped teeth can lead to discomfort, pain and even serious infections. Dr. Brent Engelberg of AH Smiles in Arlington Heights, IL wants you to know your options for handling a chipped tooth before it becomes a serious issue.
What to Do for a Chipped Tooth
If you find yourself with a chipped, broken or fractured tooth, it’s important to visit Dr. Engelberg or your local dentist as soon as possible. If you wait, your chipped tooth could be damaged even further and require much more extensive treatment. Worse still, an infection could form in the damaged tooth, resulting in serious health risks and possible tooth loss.
5 Ways to Treat a Chipped or Broken Tooth at Home
It is very important that you see Dr. Engelberg or your area dentist as soon as possible to repair your chipped tooth. However, until you are able to see a dentist, you can try the following self-care measures:
- Cope with the pain by taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen or another type of over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Rinse your mouth out with salt water to curb the risk of infection.
- If the chipped tooth has a jagged or sharp edge, cover it with a piece of sugarless chewing gum or wax paraffin to protect your tongue and mouth from injury.
- Eat only softer foods and do not bite down on the damaged tooth until it has been treated by a dentist..
- Use Dentemp or a similar product, which are available at most drugstores and pharmacies, to temporarily cover a chipped tooth until you can consult with a dentist.
How Your Dentist Will Fix Your Chipped Tooth?
The treatment for a chipped or broken tooth is dependent on the degree of the damage. If only a small piece of the enamel has chipped off, Dr. Engelberg may be able to repair the tooth in only a single office visit. However, a badly broken or damaged tooth may necessitate more complicated procedures, which may need more time to complete. Below are some treatments Dr. Engelberg or your area dentist may recommend to repair your chipped or broken tooth.
Filling or Bonding: If you’ve only lost a small piece of enamel, Dr. Engelberg may be able to repair the damage with a filling similar to what is used to repair cavities. If the damage occurred on a front tooth, he may use tooth-colored composite resin to repair the damage. This simple procedure, called cosmetic dental bonding, can usually be applied to damaged teeth without any anesthetic. The process begins by covering the surface of the tooth with a special gel or liquid. Next, he or she will apply an adhesive substance, followed by the composite resin which is shaped to match the missing part of your tooth. The dentist then cures the resin by using an ultraviolet light which makes it harden so that it can be used to bite and chew alongside the rest of your teeth.
Dental Veneers: For chipped or broken front teeth, Dr. Engelberg or your local dentist can help your teeth look healthy and flawless by applying a dental veneer. Veneers are a thin shell of tooth-colored resin composite material or porcelain that are created and customized in a lab to cover your damaged teeth. Your dentist will then be adhered to the surface of your existing teeth using special cement.
Dental Cap or Crown: If you have lost a substantial portion of the damaged tooth, Dr. Engelberg or your area dentist may file away part of the remaining tooth and cap it with a crown, which will protect the tooth while restoring its function and appearance. If the pulp has been exposed by the damage you have sustained, your tooth might have developed an infection. When this occurs, your dentist may have to remove the infected pulp through root canal therapy and then cap the treated tooth with a crown.
Remember, do not wait to repair your chipped tooth. Contact Dr. Engelberg or your area dentist to schedule an appointment.
Repairing a Chipped Tooth in Arlington Heights, IL
Remember, do not wait to fix your chipped or damaged tooth. If you live in the Arlington Heights, IL area and have a chipped tooth or any other dental issue, trust Dr. Engelberg of AH Smiles to restore the health and appearance of your smile. Call (847) 230-9703 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.