Though the enamel of your tooth is strong and meant to last your entire life, sometimes teeth can become chipped and broken. Whether it is through trauma to your face or biting down on a hard piece of candy, many people break or chip a tooth at some point. Yet, many people don’t know what to do when this happens. At Family Dentistry of Royal Oak, we want to prepare our patients for these dental emergencies, and make ourselves available when they need us most.
What to do if you break a tooth
As soon as you realize your tooth is chipped or cracked, you should contact your dentist and set up an appointment. Try to get scheduled in to the first possible appointment available. Most dental offices will offer same day appointments for emergencies. If you still have the piece of your tooth that was broken off, try and save it so it can be bonded back to the remaining tooth during your appointment.
After you make the appointment, rinse your mouth with salt water to help remove bacteria from your mouth. If you are in pain, you can take an over the counter pain medication. Sometimes the break may be sharp and cut the inside of your mouth or tongue, but you can use chewing gum to cover the jagged edge. Drink plenty of water, and if you eat, choose something soft that won’t cause further damage to the tooth.
Treatments and repairs
- Composite Resin - Chipped and broken teeth can be repaired in many different ways. If you were able to save the broken piece of your tooth, or you have a small chip, your dentist will use a composite resin to reattach the piece and fill in the chips.
- Veneer or Crown – If the break is more severe, you may need to get a porcelain veneer or crown, which are thin, tooth-colored caps that will replace the broken part of your tooth. Crowns are especially helpful in giving you back the functionality of the tooth.
- Root Canal – The inner part of your tooth that contains all of the nerve endings is called the pulp. It can easily become infected if exposed to the bacteria in your mouth. If the broken tooth leaves the pulp exposed, you will need a root canal to clean out the pulp before a filling or crown is placed on top of the tooth.
See Your Royal Oak MI Dentist!
When the enamel of your tooth is damaged, it can leave it unprotected from bacteria and decay. When left untreated, the bacteria may cause more extensive damage and pain. If you live in the Royal Oak, MI area and need emergency dental care, or want to learn more about what to do if you chip or break a tooth, please contact our office today!