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Fixing Broken or Chipped Teeth, How it's Done

Posted on 5/6/2015 by Jonathan Woodyard

An elderly woman showing her new smile after having her teeth fixed. As the enamel wears down it leaves your tooth open to become broken or chipped. While you're eating on a hard piece of candy or crunching down on the best peanut brittle you've had in years, you can chip a piece of your tooth off and not even realize it until it's too late. The hardest part of your entire body is the enamel on your teeth. It is a tissue that has mineralized and even though it's tough, it has limits. If there are already signs of decay on your teeth, chewing on hard foods, falling or being hit in the mouth, or grinding your teeth can cause the risk of them breaking or chipping to increase.

Caring for a Broken or Chipped Tooth at Home

It is highly recommended that if you chip or break off a portion of one of your teeth that you see a dentist immediately. That may not be as easily done, so until you can get around to seeing your dentist, it is best to avoid damaging the tooth further. To lessen any pain or discomfort that may be coming from the broken or chipped tooth, swish around some salt water and rinse out your mouth. This will help to clean out any bacteria that could cause infection. Eating soft foods can also aid in helping to keep the comfort levels manageable. If the broken or chipped tooth results in a sharp edge, try covering it with sugar free gum or wax paraffin to avoid cutting your lip or tongue.

Fixing a Chipped or Broken Tooth with a Dental Bonding or Filling.

Depending on how severe the damage is to the tooth, the dentist might choose one of two methods, bonding or filling. Both of these methods have been known to prevent the person from the pain of the exposed nerve. The process of filling a tooth is only considered if the tooth is not one of the front ones. If it can be seen when you smile, filling is normally not the best option to fix a small or slightly broken or chipped tooth.

The bonding procedure that is used for front teeth or severely chipped teeth is simple. Numbing shots or gel is not needed for this procedure. The professional will use an etching tool to create a rough surface on the tooth that requires bonding. Once the surface is rough enough for the bond to stick, the dentist will apply the adhesive material, then the bonding agent. After this is done, the dentist will then shape the tooth using one of their many instruments. An ultraviolet light is then used to harden the bonding agent onto the tooth.

Capping, Crowning, or Removing Teeth

Chipping or breaking off a tooth can be devastating for the individual that must wait to see a dentist. If the chipped or broken portion is fairly large, the dentist might fix it with a dental crown or cap. The purpose of this cap is to provide the natural appearance of a tooth while protecting what is left of the original tooth and the nerves that may be exposed. Crowing, or capping, the tooth can be noticeable or it can blend in with the rest of your teeth. Those who prefer to personalize their crown or cap, may choose to have it made from different material such as gold, metal, ceramic, or porcelain.

A root canal may be another choice for a tooth that has been severely broken or chipped. Removing the tooth is the last option that a dentist will want. If the tooth has broken off into the roots, it may be necessary to remove it. If you have broken or chipped a tooth and would like to consult a dentist regarding what's the next step in bettering your smile, contact our office today at (270) 408-1321.


Woodyard Dental Care, PSC

Dr. Jonathan Woodyard, DMD

3235 Olivet Church Road
Paducah, KY 42001



Phone: (270) 408-1321

Fax: (270) 408-1323


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