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Some of us may already know the feeling — you’re chewing on ice (bad idea!) or hard candy and there is an un-natural crunch followed by pain. You’ve chipped your tooth. Despite the fact that the enamel on your teeth is almost as strong as a rock, it can still chip and break. If a tooth already has a cavity it can weaken the structure of your enamel and make a chip more easy, but chewing hard food, ice, getting hit in the face, or maybe you just forgot to wear your mouthguard during sports can lead to cracked or chipped teeth without any existing condition.
Don’t worry though, having a chipped tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies, and Dr. Khodai (or your vacation dentist) can help.
But It’s Sunday!
If your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, you definitely need to see your dentist as soon as possible (use our online appointment form asap), as you risk damaging your tooth further, or worse becoming infected, which can lead to total tooth loss. If you can not reach your dentist that day, make sure that you:
- Rinse your mouth with some clean, warm saltwater.
- Take some over-the-counter pain relief. Look for the bottle with acetaminophen as the active ingredient.
- If you have to eat, try to avoid using the broken tooth, and stick to soft foods
- Sometimes a broken or chipped tooth will leave a sharp edge, which you can cover with wax or plain chewing gum (sugarless).
If the damage to your enamel is small, it can usually be fixed with a simple filling, but if one of your front teeth was chipped your dentist will usually go with bonding for the best appearance. Bonding is a painless procedure where an advanced bonding resin is applied to your tooth, shaped to match your mouth, then hardened using an ultraviolet light.
The loss of a large chunk of your tooth usually means that you will need a crown. Of course Dr. Khodai only uses the best bio-compatible mercury-free materials, and your permanent crown will protect your damaged tooth while improving its appearance. If the entire top of the tooth is damaged, but your root remains intact, a crown can often be cemented directly to it.
Crowns are usually a two-visit procedure. During the first visit the damaged area will be cleaned, a mold will be made to shape your new tooth, and sometimes a temporary crown will be placed. A few days to a couple weeks later you will return to get the temporary crown removed and the permanent crown attached.
Sometimes you may need a veneer over a broken front tooth. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain or resin which covers the entire surface of a tooth to replace broken or damage enamel. Like crowns it usually takes two visits for veneers, and the process is very similar. After a cleaning and impression, the veneer arrives in a couple weeks and is permanently attached by using a bonding material and ultraviolet light.
If you have a chipped tooth or just need a regularly scheduled cleaning, it’s time to set up an appointment with Irvine Dentist Dr. Neda Khodai. Call us at 949-553-1111 or click below to get in touch with Barranca Dental Excellence in Irvine, Orange County California. Se Habla Español!
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