You may suspect a broken tooth if you’re chewing on something hard and notice an extra piece. Your teeth are coated in enamel, the hardest and most mineralized tissue in the body, but it has limits. Biting down on something hard or taking a hit to your face could break your tooth, causing you to seek out broken tooth repair in Webster.
Broken teeth need treatment, but you don’t need to panic. Your dentist can repair your tooth to restore the look and function of your teeth.
How to Care for a Broken Tooth
If your tooth is broken, you must visit a dentist as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage the tooth could sustain. It’s also vulnerable to infection, which may cost you the tooth.
Here are some self-care measures to take while you get in touch with your dentist:
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water.
- If there’s a sharp edge, cover it with wax paraffin or chewing gum to protect your mouth.
- Eat soft foods and avoid chewing where the broken tooth is.
Dental Procedures for Broken Teeth
The treatment will depend on how damaged the tooth is. Some broken teeth can be repaired in one office visit, but you may need more involved procedures for more severe fractures.
Dental Filling or Bonding
If you have broken off a small piece of tooth enamel, your dentist may be able to repair it with a filling. For visible teeth, such as the front teeth, your dentist may use bonding to cover the tooth with tooth-colored composite resin.
Bonding is a straightforward procedure that may not require any local anesthetic. The dentist will carefully etch the surface with a gel to rough it up and help the bonding material stick to it. Then, the dentist will apply an adhesive material to the tooth with a natural-colored resin. The material is then shaped to look like a natural tooth, and the dentist applies blue light to harden it.
Dental Cap or Crown
If a broken tooth has a large piece missing – or the tooth has a lot of decay – the dentist may file away part of the tooth and use a crown, which is a tooth-shaped cap.
This protects the tooth and makes it look more natural. Permanent crowns may be made of metal, porcelain and metal, resin, or ceramic, each with its own benefits. Porcelain and resin are typically preferred for their natural look.
If the entire top of the tooth is broken but the root is still intact, the dentist may perform a root canal and place a post in the canal. This creates enough structure for a crown to be made. The crown is then cemented over the post.
Typically, the procedure for a dental crown takes at least two visits. At the first visit, your dentist will take X-rays to check the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. The dentist may then numb the tooth and remove enough to place a crown.
After that, your dentist will use a putty-like material to create an impression of the tooth and the opposing tooth. These impressions are sent to a lab to create the crown. During this process, you will have a temporary acrylic crown.
About two or three weeks later, your dentist will remove the temporary crown, fit the permanent crown, and permanently secure it into place.
A dental veneer can restore the look and function of a broken front tooth. A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-colored porcelain or resin composite that covers the front of the tooth with a thicker section to replace the broken tooth.
Like the crown procedure, the veneer requires an impression of the tooth sent off to have a veneer made in the lab. You will return to the dentist a week or two later to have it placed. Your dentist will etch the tooth’s surface and apply cement to the veneer to attach it. A special light is used to activate the chemicals and harden the cement.
Find Emergency Broken Tooth Repair in Webster and Rochester
A broken tooth can be a scary experience, but your dentist has many options to repair it. If you have a broken tooth, apply basic first aid and contact Empire Dental Care to schedule an appointment at 585-671-1650