If tooth enamel is the hardest material in the human body, then how can it still break? Enamel consists of 96 percent minerals and four percent water and organic material. The large percentage of minerals in the enamel makes it strong yet fragile at the same time. So active children and athletes aren’t the only people at high-risk for broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. It can happen to anyone and always at the worst time imaginable. Living with a damaged tooth is not a workable option and we have solutions to recover your beautiful smile.
At Maidu Dental in Auburn, CA, we offer a wide range of restorative and cosmetic dental solutions designed to repair damaged teeth. If you have a broken, cracked, or chipped tooth contact us online or call our office at 530-823-8771 to avoid infection and further damage.
What Causes Broken, Cracked, or Chipped Teeth?
Teeth may break, crack, or chip for various reasons, including:
• Biting or chewing on hard foods or non-edible items (pens and pencils)
• Crooked teeth
• Dental decay
• Everyday accidents
• Forceful teeth clenching
• Root canals where the tooth is missing a crown
• Sports without the use of a mouth guard
• Teeth grinding
• Teeth with temporary fillings over a month old
• Using teeth to open items
Can My Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth Be Fixed?
When you experience a tooth injury, call us right away to assess the damage and determine appropriate treatment.
The most common types of teeth injuries include:
• Chip – This is a surface chip in the enamel of the tooth. Chips are common and not an emergency. A dental veneer may be recommended to conceal the chip. Dental bonding is also an option to bring the tooth back to its prior shape and appearance. Another option is to polish off the rough edges if the damage is minimal.
• Crack or Fracture – A crack extending through the tooth enamel will expose the dentin. Call us within 48 hours to avoid damage to the exposed nerve. We may treat the tooth with a filling, a partial crown, or a full crown. X-rays will be required to assess the damage.
• Break – If the pulp inside the tooth is visible, please call our office immediately. This painful break can cause the tooth to bleed. If left untreated, an infection can occur. Major tooth breaks are often repaired by a root canal and a crown. If the damage is too severe then extracting the tooth may be necessary.
• Displaced – You will know your tooth is displaced if it is still there yet sitting up too high, pushed down, leaning, or twisted in another direction. Call us right away so the doctor can reposition the tooth with a flexible splint. A splint is a temporary brace used to hold the tooth in the correct position while it heals.
• Detached – A detached tooth means it has been completely knocked out. In this instance, visit us right away. We may be able to replant your tooth and brace it with a flexible splint. A root canal will be needed once the tooth has re-set. Antibiotics will also be given to avoid infection. If this is not an option, a bridge or implant will fill the space.
Caring for a Damaged Tooth at Home
A few steps you can take at home while you are waiting for your appointment or while you’re in route to see us, include:
• Remain calm
• Apply a cold compress for pain and swelling
• Avoid biting down on the injured tooth
• Control bleeding with sterile gauze or cloth
• Eat soft foods
• If the tooth has been knocked out – touch only the crown, rinse it thoroughly, and store it between your cheek and gum while in route to our office.
• Rinse your mouth with salt water
• Use an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed
• Use sugarless gum or dental wax to cover any sharp edges of a broken tooth
If you have a damaged tooth, call Maidu Dental right away at 530-823-8771 or contact us online here. Our team of dentists in Auburn, CA will be happy to help ease any pain and discomfort you’re feeling and mend your beautiful smile.