Your tooth enamel is quite strong and is not easy to break. However, it is also not impossible. At times, injury or biting on a hard item can cause a tooth to break, fracture, or become chipped. Damage to the teeth can be quite anxiety-inducing. If you have broken front teeth, then it will also impact the quality of your smile. Fortunately, there are methods to fix a broken tooth.
Causes of Broken or Chipped Teeth
Here are the most common reasons for experiencing a broken, fractured, or chipped tooth:
- Biting in hard foods like candy, popcorn kernels, or ice
- Teeth grinding or bruxism
- Certain habits like chewing gum or ice
- Age (people over the age of 50 years will often report tooth cracks)
- Large dental fillings or a root canal therapy, which may weaken the tooth
- Trauma to the teeth such as during sports, car and bike accidents, or physical violence
Teeth with Most Likeliness to get Fractured or Chipped
Fractures of the top front teeth and the teeth toward the back of your lower jaw are the most common (mandibular molars). Though most people only fracture one tooth, more serious injuries or trauma might result in many teeth being fractured. Even with less severe impact, people suffering from cavities are more likely to fracture their teeth.
How do Dentists Fix a Chipped Tooth?
It depends on the severity of the damage. If only a small bit of the enamel has broken away, a dentist may usually repair the tooth in only one dental session.
A seriously fractured or damaged tooth, on the other hand, may necessitate a more expensive procedure requiring more than one visit. Here are some options for repairing a chipped or damaged tooth that your dentist may suggest:
- Dental bonding is an ideal solution when the damage is minimal. If you have damaged the front teeth, then the dentist will use composite resin, which is a tooth-colored material. Since it matches the natural teeth easily, it will be hard to determine any change to the front teeth; hence, maintaining the appeal of your smile
- Dental veneers are also a great option for chipped or broken front teeth. These are thin shells made out of composite resin or porcelain applied on the surface of the tooth. Again, using composite resin or porcelain makes the dental veneers hard to detect
- A dental crown is used when you have lost a significant amount of the tooth after breaking, fracturing, or chipping it. The dentist will file the tooth and then cover it with a dental crown, which will protect it from further damage and preserve its function. In case, the damage to the tooth is deep enough that it has reached the pulp, then the dentist will perform a root canal therapy
If you have chipped or broken your tooth, there are certain measures you can take but these do not fix broken teeth. For pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You can rinse your mouth with salt water to reduce the risk of infection, place a piece of sugarless gum or wax paraffin to protect your tongue and cheek from sharp edges of a broken tooth, and eat soft foods and not bite with the damaged tooth. However, you must see a dentist as soon as possible.
Sue Vetter offers quality and affordable dental care in Seattle, including broken or chipped/cracked tooth treatment and front tooth repair. Call or visit us to learn more or book your appointment.