Can They Reattach the Broken Part of My Chipped Tooth?
It can be a terrifying experience–you crunch down on something hard and the crunch is a little louder than expected. You reach in your mouth and discover something hard that doesn’t dissolve. It’s a piece of a broken tooth. While the first reaction is typically to panic, it’s important to stay calm and contact your dentist right away. If fragments broke off the tooth, try to find and save them. They can probably be reattached to the tooth by bonding. Here’s more information on what the dentist can do to save a broken tooth.
What to Do with a Chipped Tooth
While waiting to see the dentist, take the following self-care measures:
- If the tooth is painful, take an over-the-counter pain reliever and rinse your mouth with salt water.
- If the break has caused a sharp or jagged edge, cover it with a piece of wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum to keep it from cutting your tongue or the inside of your mouth.
- If you must eat, eat soft foods and avoid biting down on the broken tooth.
Tooth Bonding and Other Dental Repair Methods
Treatment for a broken or chipped tooth will depend on how bad the damage is. If only a small piece of enamel broke off, the repair can usually be done easily and with just one office visit. If it’s just a small piece of tooth enamel that chipped off, the dentist will probably repair the damage with a filling. If it’s one of your front teeth that chipped, or any other tooth that can be seen when you smile, the dentistwill likely use a procedure called bonding, which uses a tooth-colored composite resin to repair the chip.
If a large piece of tooth breaks off or the tooth has a lot of decay, the dentist may recommend a crown to repair the damage. During this procedure, the dentist files away part of the remaining tooth and covers it with a crown, or tooth-shaped cap, made to protect the tooth and improve its appearance.
If you just chipped a tooth, make an appointment right away. Again, try to save any pieces of tooth and bring them with you to the appointment.