Fix Chipped Teeth
If you are suffering from a chipped tooth, consult with your dentist as soon as you can.
Ways to Treat Chipped Teeth at Home
Until you can visit the dentist the following self-care approaches can help:
- Over-the-counter pain medicine: Try taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or other suitable over-the-counter pain medicines to reduce pain and swelling.
- Salt Rinse: Try rinsing the mouth with a salt water solution to soothe and to help minimize any risk of infection.
- Gum or Wax Paraffin: Try covering any rough or jagged edges of the damaged tooth with wax paraffin or sugarless gum to protect the cheek and tongue.
- Soft foods: Try eating only soft foods and avoid any biting down on or near the damaged or chipped tooth.
- Dentemp: Try using Dentemp, which is a temporary treatment product for chipped teeth that is available over-the-counter at most drug stores.
How Dentists Fix Chipped Teeth
Treatment for broken or chipped teeth depends on specific damage and the severity. If just a small bit of enamel has been damaged or broken off, a dentist can usually fix the tooth during just one appointment. Sometimes though, severely damaged or broken teeth can require more involved procedures, which can take multiple visits to the dentist. Depending on the damage and severity a dentist may suggest one of the following approaches:
- Filling: If only a small part of your tooth’s enamel has been damaged or chipped away, a filling will most likely be suggested.
- Bonding: If a front tooth has been damaged, often a composite resin that is tooth colored called “bonding” will be used for the repair. This repair is simple and does not usually require a numbing agent of any kind.
- Veneers: Another repair option for a broken or chipped front tooth is a dental veneer. Dental veneers are a thin shells of resin composite (or porcelain) that are tooth colored and are custom made in a lab. A dental veneer gets placed on the surface of the existing damaged tooth by using a special dental cement and gives your tooth a flawless and healthy appearance.
- Crowns: When a large portion of tooth is lost a dentist will usually file down part of the tooth that is left and cap it using a crown. Crowns are designed to preserve and protect functionality of the tooth, as well as to improve the appearance. When there is damage that extensive enough to expose a tooth’s pulp, infection or pulp damage is a serious concern. If this occurs, a dentist will need to removed the infected or decaying pulp through a treatment called a root canal. After the root canal therapy, a crown is used to cap the tooth.
Make sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible if you have a chipped, cracked or broken tooth.
Costs Associated with Fixing Teeth
Costs associated with repairing damaged teeth can vary substantially. The severity of damage, the location of the damaged tooth and the treatment needed will all affect costs.
Without taking insurance into consideration a patient can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars (for example for a small chip that only requires bonding) to a few thousand dollars for serious damage that requires a root canal and crown.
In some cases, depending on the cause of the damage, dental insurance may offset some or all of the associated costs Make sure to consult with your insurance provider and dentist to get all cost information and estimation.