Handling Chipped or Cracked Teeth
Chipped teeth are mostly painless unless the chip is large exposing the nerves. If the nerves are exposed, sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and foods will be experienced. Whether the tooth has a minor or a major chip you will need a specialist check-up to save your tooth. Chipped or broken teeth can be as a result of direct trauma to your mouth or teeth.
Cracks may happen on the enamel or all the way to the root. Your tooth may crack due to direct trauma on your tooth or it can be as a result of cracked tooth syndrome. The syndrome starts with tiny cracks on your tooth that can only be detected by an X-ray.
There are several types of cracks that might appear on your teeth. They include:
- Splits – The crack line runs from the upper most part of the tooth towards the root. Extensive cracks can divide the tooth into segments. With this type of crack, it will be difficult for your dentist to save your tooth.
- Craze lines – They are usually tiny and appear on the enamel. Craze lines are painless and don’t need any treatment.
- Root fractures – They first appear on your root traveling upwards to the enamel. They are not easily noticed unless there is an infection.
Causes of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
- Sudden changes of temperatures when eating or drinking
- Large fillings usually weaken the teeth resulting to cracks
- Biting hard foods or substances such as ice or nuts
First Aid Steps for Cracked or Chipped Tooth
- Using warm water rinse your mouth.
- To prevent swelling and for pain take anti-inflammatory painkillers recommended by your dentist.
- Press a gauze or clean white cloth on the bleeding part if any.
- If the chipped tooth has sharp edges that are likely to cut your tongue and cheek. Wrap a sugarless chewing gum or a paraffin wax around the affected tooth.
Visit your dentist immediately if possible. If you can’t reach your dentist within the first 24 hours after the incident, conceal the chipped tooth with a dental cement which you can buy from your nearest drug store, to protect the tooth before the appointment.
Treatment Procedures for a Cracked or Chipped Tooth
Depending on the intensity of your chipped or cracked tooth, we at Albert Dentistry will help you choose the most suitable treatment. The following are some of procedures available.
Some tooth cracks and chips can damage your tooth pulp or leave it exposed to bacterial infections. In this situation you may need a root canal treatment to remove the damaged part.
If your tooth is extensively damaged in that the nerves and the roots have also been affected, an extraction will be made.
Bonding can be used to repair both the chipped and cracked tooth. They are usually used when the damage is not extensive. Your dentist will use a composite resin that matches your natural teeth on the affected tooth. The procedure is quick and takes a single appointment.
They are composite resins that are used to cover the outer chipped part of your tooth. For this to happen your dentist will first trim a small part of your enamel before installing the veneers. A customized veneer is made for your tooth and after a few days its placed. A paste is then applied on the tooth and hardened to hold the veneer in place.
This is used when the tooth has largely chipped away. Crowns used can be permanent or temporary and the type of crown used will depend on the objective of the procedure. A filling will be done on the chipped part to hold down the crown.
How to Avoid Chipping and Cracking of Your Tooth?
- Wear mouth guards when you are doing accident prone activities that will likely result to your teeth getting a blow or a hit.
- Avoid eating hard foods and ice.
- Practice a healthy dental care. With regular visits to your dentist and brushing your teeth twice a day will ensure you prevent some trips to your dentist for cracked and chipped tooth treatment procedures.