Winter is a great time to hit the slopes and enjoy different types of sports. However, beginner snowboarders and skiers are at a risk of suffering falls, which may lead to dental injuries. On the other hand, experts are at a risk of flying over jumps and bumps, which may cause the lower and upper teeth knock together forcefully. Backyard sledders too have dental injury risks. Mouthguards are effective in protecting you from knocked-out, broken, or chipped tooth and soft tissue damage. Nevertheless, in the event of chipping a tooth while playing winter sports, prompt chipped tooth treatment is important.
A chipped tooth in the front and center can invoke panic immediately; whereas, many don’t consider it a big deal if the broken or chipped tooth is in the back of the mouth and doesn’t bother them. However, any broken or chipped tooth – irrespective of its location – should be examined by a dentist for determining the right chipped tooth treatment option as well as preventing any further complications or damage.
What do you do for a Chipped Tooth – Steps to Take
- When handling a broken or chipped tooth, you can take a few steps before visiting a dentist. These steps are as follows:
- Call your dentist’s office and book an appointment immediately.
- Cover the tooth’s sharp parts with sugarless gum or dental wax.
- If the chipped tooth is aching or sensitive, ask your dentist for an effective over-the-counter pain relief option.
- Avoid taking too cold or too hot foods.
- Take soft food items and avoid chewing with the chipped tooth to prevent any further breakage. In case of a serious fracture, rinse your mouth with warm water as well as use cold compresses for reducing swelling.
Chipped Tooth Treatment Options
A slight chip in your tooth’s enamel may only require smoothening to prevent the rough portion from irritating the cheek and tongue. However, a fracture or a more severe chip requires restoration, and the options for chipped tooth treatment depend on the degree of severity of the tooth damage. Following are some options for chipped tooth repair and treatment:
Bonding or Filling
Most of the moderate fractures or chips are fixed using a dental filling; however, for teeth which are visible while smiling, a filling material that’s tooth colored (known as composite resin) is usually bonded to the tooth by dentists. For repairs that are more extensive, the material used for bonding can be actually shaped to make it resemble the patient’s natural tooth. Bonding materials come in various colors nowadays, and the repair is quite invisible.
Root Canal Procedure
In case of a severe tooth breakage where the blood vessels and nerves are exposed, bacteria can enter the affected area easily and cause infection. Root canal therapy is the right treatment option in such cases, which saves the tooth. Root canal therapy is performed by an endodontist or a general dentist. The dentist is most likely to recommend the addition of a full-coverage crown afterward for fortifying the broken tooth.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite that cover a tooth’s front portion completely to make it appear like never being fractured or chipped. During the initial appointment, a thin enamel layer from the tooth’s front portion is removed by the dentist and impressions are taken that are sent to the lab then, where the veneers are fabricated. In the second appointment, the tooth’s front surface is etched with a liquid solution and the veneer is attached using cement which is hardened using a special light.
In case of a large part of a tooth breaking, the only treatment option may be a full-coverage crown or cap, to prevent tooth breakage beyond the point of repair. Similar to veneers, crowns need two appointments – the first one for preparing the tooth and taking the impressions and the second one for cementing the crown to the tooth. The material used to make most crowns is either resin fused to metal, ceramic, or porcelain, which has a color same as that of other teeth.
Prevention of Broken Teeth
If you are a sports enthusiast, playing during the weekends or in the winter, ensure that you wear a mouthguard while playing contact sports. You can also prevent a chipped tooth by avoiding biting down on ice or hard candy. In general, you should not use your teeth for jobs not involving chewing food, such as tearing snack bags open, holding onto objects, or opening bottles.
Rely on DM Dental for Chipped Tooth Treatment
A chipped tooth calls for prompt medical attention. At Des Moines Dental Group, we have expert dentists who can implement the right chipped tooth repair solution and help with quick recovery. We are one of the most reputed dental clinics in Iowa, with our offices located at Urbandale and Airport. Book an appointment online through our website or give us a call today for expert dental care!