If you chip or crack your tooth, you should call your dentist immediately. While a broken tooth may not be an emergency, oftentimes it is. When you call your dentist, a trained dental professional can determine if you need to come into the office for emergency dental care.
Chips and cracks usually develop due to trauma or biting down on something that’s very hard. The way your dentist addresses the issue depends entirely on how severe the break is. A small chip may only require a small fix, while a large crack will likely require a more invasive procedure. The Denver dentists at Metropolitan Dental Care will evaluate the break and determine the necessary treatment course.
Here are the ways that dentists fix a broken tooth:
Fixing a Small Chip
A small chip on the surface of your tooth generally does not require an emergency visit. Of course, you should still call your Denver dentist if you chip a tooth. Only a qualified doctor can accurately assess if you require urgent care.
In some cases, a chipped tooth won’t medically require treatment. Even if the tooth doesn’t need to be fixed, some people may want a chip fixed if it blemishes their smiles.
Here are some of the ways that your Denver dentist may address a chipped tooth:
Filling or Bonding
Small chips can be repaired with fillings or dental bonding, depending on where the chip is located. If the enamel has chipped off a back tooth, then a filling will be the likely solution. However, if the chip is visible when you smile, tooth-colored cosmetic bonding may be the better solution.
Dental bonding is the use of a tooth-colored composite resin to repair minor cosmetic flaws in teeth. Since it’s colored and shaped to match natural teeth, it can repair your tooth while also restoring the natural appearance of your smile.
If the chip is on a front tooth and you want a more permanent solution than bonding, then a veneer may be the way to go. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that cover imperfections on the front-facing side of teeth. They can last for 15 years or more, while bonding only lasts for several years at most.
Fixing a Large Chip or Crack
A tooth with exposed dentin or dental pulp due to a large chip or crack may require more than cosmetic touch-ups. These are more likely to be emergencies since they compromise the health of a tooth.
Dentin is the sensitive tooth layer below the enamel. When exposed, bacteria can more easily reach the dentin and cause cavities. Large chips and cracks often require a dental crown, which offers more protection than a filling does. Fillings replace missing enamel while crowns protect the underlying natural tooth structure.
If the crack or chip has exposed the dental pulp, the tooth may require root canal therapy. The dental pulp consists of the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. Any trauma to the tooth pulp must be addressed before a cap can be placed to protect the tooth.
Contact Our Denver Dentists for Tooth Repair
If you have broken a tooth, contact Metropolitan Dental Care as soon as possible. We’ll determine if the issue needs immediate repair while making sure your tooth is well protected. Contact us today by calling 303-534-2626.