The enamel is, indeed, a very hard and protective covering of the teeth. Nevertheless, the enamel has its limits to prevent chipping and breaking of the teeth. Even with great oral hygiene habits, chipping and breaking of the teeth can still occur. It can occur from accidents, fights, and from eating hard candy, for instance. In the unfortunate event that you find yourself with a damaged tooth, here are the procedures used to restore chipped and cracked teeth.
1. Dental Filling or Bonding
If a small piece of a tooth is chipped, the dentist can generally repair it with a filling. If the repair is needed for a front tooth, or where the tooth can be seen upon smiling, the dentist will perform a procedure called bonding. With bonding, an adhesive material, and bonding material are applied to the chipped portion of the tooth. Afterwards, ultraviolet light is applied to harden what is now formed into a new, naturally looking tooth.
2. Dental Cap or Crown
This is done when a tooth has much decay, or when a large portion of the tooth is broken off. The remaining broken or decayed tooth is prepared and then covered with a cap or a crown. The cap is shaped like a tooth so that it looks completely natural.
3. Dental Veneer
Another great alternative for a front chipped or broken tooth is the dental veneer, which will make the tooth look better. A dental veneer is resin composite material, or tooth colored porcelain that is like a thin shell covering the visible portion of the tooth.
4. Root Canal
This is an extensive, but necessary procedure for some. The reason why is because when a tooth chipping or breakage is large enough that the pulp is exposed, bacteria can enter and infect it.
The pulp is the core of the tooth that contains the blood vessels and nerves. Also, the bacteria will come from inside your mouth. If the pulp tissue dies, and is not removed, your tooth will become infected, thus requiring a root canal. With the root canal therapy, the dead pulp is removed, the root canal is cleansed, and then it’s sealed.
Unfortunately, a tooth will chip or break in mostly everyone’s lifetime. Even with using the best dental precautions, it’s still bound to happen. However, with various methods, chipped and broken teeth can be repaired and restored through dental filling or bonding; dental veneers; dental cap or crowning; and root canal therapy.
So, if a tooth becomes chipped, broken, or fractured, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. And until you are able to see the dentist, certain self-care measures should be adhered to, such as taking pain medicine, if needed; covering a broken tooth with sugarless chewing gum, or a piece of wax paraffin if the tooth is has a sharp edge; and eat soft foods and try to avoid the area of the damaged tooth.