Chipped or broken teeth can happen for many reasons. Falls, trauma to the mouth, chewing on ice, or attempting to open a bottle with your teeth can cause even the strongest of enamel to crack or break. When that happens, Dr. Terry Vines of Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry offers the following tips.
- First, call your dentist and schedule the next available appointment. Putting off a visit to the dentist can cause the affected tooth to become further damaged, or even infected, which could cause you to lose the tooth.
- While you wait to see the dentist, rinse your mouth with salt water and take an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary. If the break leaves you with a sharp edge that threatens to cut the inside of your mouth or tongue, cover it with a piece of wax or sugar-free chewing gum.
- Finally, eat only soft foods and avoid that side of your mouth.
During your visit to the dentist, he may suggest using a dental crown to cover the broken tooth. A dental crown will not only improve the appearance of the tooth; it will also protect it. Crowns can be temporary or permanent. Often a temporary crown will be used until the permanent crown, made of metal, ceramic, resin, or porcelain, can be placed. When a large piece of the tooth is broken, but the root is still healthy, Dr. Vines can place a post in the root and build a structure that will hold a crown.
The procedure for dental crowns typically requires two visits to the dentist. At your first appointment, Dr. Vines will examine the tooth and take x-rays of the roots and surrounding bone. Next, he will remove as much of the remaining tooth as necessary to allow room for a crown. Alternatively, if you’ve broken a large piece, he may have to build up the tooth using filling material. Once that has been done, Dr. Vines will make impressions of your mouth which are used to make the permanent crown. Finally, he will place a temporary crown to be used until your permanent one is complete and can be placed.
If you experience a broken tooth, don’t let fear overcome you. Dr. Vines and the team at Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry can have your tooth fixed and get you smiling again quickly and safely.