Teeth are frequently in harm’s way; by one estimate, a quarter of all 12-year-olds have injured their permanent teeth. Of course, the fact that dental injuries are common is no comfort when they happen to you – or your child. Fortunately, modern dental treatment can make your smile look great again; especially if you get prompt and appropriate care. That’s why it is important to know what to do when you break a tooth.
Chipped Tooth The appropriate treatment for a chipped tooth will depend on how much of the tooth has broken off. A small chip isn’t generally an emergency; it can often be repaired with dental bonding, which involves layering on a durable, tooth-colored material to restore the tooth’s shape. This is a relatively simple procedure that can be completed in one dental appointment. Because the bonding material has the same shade and transparency as natural teeth, it creates a beautiful repair. It is possible, however, that the bonding material will wear away over time and have to be replaced eventually. Minor chips can also be repaired with a porcelain veneer, which covers the entire front surface of the tooth instead of just the chipped area.
Cracked (Fractured) Tooth A crack can begin from the chewing surface or the root of a tooth and may cause severe pain or just intermittent discomfort. But because even a small crack can open a pathway to infection, it’s important to see a dentist whether or not you are in pain.