How To Fix A Chipped Tooth Or A Broken Tooth?
A chipped, cracked or broken tooth can be very painful. Teeth can be damaged in a variety of ways, and the damage can be minor or extensive depending on the condition of the tooth and the type of injury.
Unless the damage is a small chip, there is no permanent way to fix it without going to the dentist. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is ease the pain and protect your teeth and mouth from further injury.
What to Do If You Chip or Break a Tooth
Although doctors don’t recommend home repair of broken teeth, there are things you can do to protect your teeth and mouth.
What to do after a broken tooth?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), if you break or chip a tooth, you should immediately rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it. Apply pressure to stop bleeding and apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling.
If you find a piece of broken tooth, wrap it in wet gauze and take it to the dentist.
What to do if you lose a tooth?
If the tooth has come out of the mouth, use gauze to press it against the crown and, if possible, return it to the socket.
If the teeth look dirty, they can be washed with water. Do not rub or wipe with any other solution or wipe with a cloth.
If you can’t fit it in a store, you can put it in a glass of milk, salt or water. You should try to get to the dentist within 30 minutes.
Relieves the pain of chipped tooth
Rinse the inside of your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress externally every few minutes to reduce swelling.
You can take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, but do not take more than the recommended dose.
You can also apply clove oil on the affected area. The oil contains eugenol, which is an analgesic with anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Protect Your Mouth Before Going to the Dentist
If you have small chips and ridges in your teeth, you can apply dental wax to the ridges to prevent them from biting your tongue and damaging your mouth. It is not recommended if you have a large chip or part of a tooth missing, as you may break more teeth while flossing.
Many pharmacies carry over-the-counter temporary kits that contain dental wax.
Avoid chewing on the edges of damaged teeth and try flossing around your teeth to reduce pressure and irritation.
Injuries that require treatment and those that do not require treatment
According to a 2015 article published in the European Journal of Dentistry, mandibular molars are the most commonly fractured, possibly because their sharp points rub hard against the molar canals in the upper mouth.
However, any tooth can be fractured by trauma ranging from minor cosmetic damage to major trauma. Deep fissures can extend from the root or core of the tooth into the pulp chamber below, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
Cracks are not visible and can be hidden under the teeth or gums. Some cracks and chips have no signs or symptoms that can be confused with caries, pain, or periodontal disease.
As a rule of thumb, the deeper and more extensive the damage, the more extensive treatment is needed. Dentists can assess the extent of caries by examining the teeth with or without a magnifying glass, performing a bite test, and sometimes using dental X-rays.
Cracks that do not require treatment
Not all cracks or chips are severe enough to be treated, and some are quite common. For example, according to a 2014 literature review, crack lines are small cracks that occur only in enamel and are common.
Cracks that require to see by a dentist
You will likely need to see a dentist, even for the smallest cracks or chips, as the severity of the damage is difficult to tell.
There are no effective home remedies to protect your teeth and mouth from further damage, and the sharp edges of a chipped tooth can cut into soft tissue, causing more pain, infection, and potentially more expensive treatment.
In some cases, untreated damage can lead to root canal damage, tooth loss, or other complications due to infection.
Cracks that require immediate treatment
While you can expect to see many types of dental injuries, others may require emergency care.
For example, if you pull a tooth, the ADA recommends keeping it, putting it back in the socket if you find it, and seeing a dentist right away. If you have heavy bleeding or severe pain, it is also considered an emergency.
Protection with temporary tooth repair kit
Temporary tooth repair kits are available at pharmacies and online and can help you while you wait to see your dentist.
Some kits include dental wax to cover uneven edges, while others contain a material that can be molded into your teeth to fill the gaps left by broken or missing teeth. .
These kits are for temporary use only and do not address more serious problems that can lead to infection, tooth loss, or other complications. They should not be a substitute for proper dental care.
Methods of restoring chipped or broken tooth
Treatment will depend on the size and location of the crack or tear. Possible treatments include:
- Root canal and crown placement
- Tooth extraction and implant placement
Superficial lines and small cracks may not require treatment, but a 2019 study found that radiographic evidence of decay, severe pain, and cracks were strong predictors of having an endodontist perform a restorative procedure.
If the damage is minor, the dentist may polish the surface or smooth the broken or jagged edges. This is called cosmetic contouring. They may also use dental sealants to fill cracks and fissures.
During bonding, the dentist slightly hardens the tooth, uses a conditioning fluid, and then applies a tooth-colored composite resin. Then they will give it the right shape. Sometimes dentists can even replace a broken tooth.
This procedure can usually be completed in one visit.
Filling with possible root canal
Cracks or chips deeper than the surface require more serious repair. Sometimes the crack extends to the pulp, which may require a root canal.
During the procedure, the endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, cleans the inside of the tooth, fills and seals it with a flexible material called gutta-percha. They will then be covered with screws or crowns.
Although root canal treatment is a metaphor for all things scary and depressing, the process has actually become more routine and less painful than ever. Now it’s usually no more painful than a full stomach.
Operation Or Surgery
A molar has more than one root. If only one root is broken, a root canal may be used to save the entire tooth. This is called hemisection. Root canals and crowns should be done on the remaining teeth.
Your endodontist may also recommend surgery to find hidden fissures or canals that aren’t visible on X-rays, or to remove calcium deposits from posterior root canals.
Sometimes a root canal cannot save the tooth. For most endodontists, the depth of the fissure determines how likely they are to recommend extraction. A 2019 study found that the deeper the crack, the more likely the endodontist is to extract the tooth.
In case of cracked teeth, 98.48% of endodontists decided to extract them. If the crack extends below the gum line, the dentist may also recommend extraction.
If you have had a tooth removed, your doctor may recommend an implant that looks and functions like a natural tooth.
How much does it cost to restore a chipped or broken tooth?
Costs can range from a few hundred dollars for a cosmetic procedure to $2,500 or $3,000 for a root canal and crown, depending on where you live. If you have a tooth removed and replaced with an implant, the cost can range from $3,000 to $5,000.
Most dental insurance covers some or most of the cost of dental repairs, depending on your policy, although many insurance companies do not strictly cover cosmetic procedures.
Most repairs may only require one or two office visits, but more extensive treatments may require you to miss work.
You can usually return to work the day after your root canal treatment, but some dentists will schedule the extraction and surgery on a Friday so you can rest for the weekend before returning to work on Monday.
The Bottom Line
A chipped or broken tooth can be painful, but many cracks and chips are not serious and may require little or no treatment. However, the best way to protect your teeth and overall health is to make sure to visit your dentist.
In the meantime, you can protect your mouth from jagged edges with wax, keeping your mouth clean and reducing inflammation.
If you have had a tooth extracted, you should try to see a dentist within 30 minutes. If you have pain or heavy bleeding, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.