You are in the middle of a hot summer afternoon and decide to have some ice to cool off. Suddenly you hear a crackle and something comes into your mouth that doesn't quite taste like ice. Oops! That's a part of your broken teeth! Although your first instinct is to panic, don't worry as there are a lot of things dentists can do these days to fix chipped teeth.
A tooth may chip off for some other reasons too. Decay being one of the main culprits, it erodes the top enamel leaving the tooth exposed to decay. Taking an unsightly fall or getting your teeth broken in a fight are some of the other reasons why your teeth may break o partially chip off. Here are some things you can do:
- Take care of you chipped tooth: The first thing to do when you realize that you have a chipped tooth is to see a dentist. If you are unfortunately suffering from this problem on a weekend when a dentist near you isn't accessible, keep the jagged edge of the broken tooth covered with a sugarless chewing gum or paraffin. If you get hungry, opt for a liquid diet or soft solids that don't require chewing.
- Treatment: Filling or bonding that is if you've chipped a visible tooth in your frontline, your dentist will use a tooth coloured composite resin for a 'bonding' procedure. If it is one of your inside teeth, your dentist may try a simple 'filling' to fix things up. Bonding is pretty much 'gluing' bits of your artificial teeth on. The dentist clears up the surface to place the adhesive and sticks the bonding material and then hardens it into shape with ultraviolet light.
- Adding a crown or dental cap: This procedure is used when a larger piece of tooth chips off, it happens mainly due to decay. The dentist will chip off the edges from your broken teeth and cover it with a crown or cap to protect the tooth from further damage. The cap also acts as a cosmetic fixture not making anyone realize that it is different from your real teeth.
Patients are generally given a choice on the material for the cap, which they can choose based on cost and cosmetics. A metal cap is the strongest, but can make you look like a villain from yesteryears, which has an evil glint in every smile. The other common options are porcelain fused to metal, all ceramic or all resin. This procedure will require more than one visit for x-rays, taking an impression of the tooth, trial for your crown and finally fixing it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dentist.