Teeth are the strongest bones in the human body, primarily designed for chewing and breaking down food before it enters the digestive system. However, even though our teeth are quite sturdy, they can still break or get damaged. Some people experience partial tooth fractures or chipped teeth, often due to actions that put stress on them. Common activities like opening bottle caps or biting into hard objects, and even consuming very hard foods, can lead to tooth damage.
Of course, the immediate concern when a tooth breaks is the pain. It can be quite distressing. However, after applying first aid and taking pain relievers, the best thing you can do as soon as possible is to visit a dentist. You might use ice packs to reduce swelling, but make sure to maintain good oral hygiene by rinsing your mouth and clearing out food particles. When you see the dentist, they will suggest possible treatments.
Tooth Filling: If the tooth damage isn’t extensive, such as a minor chip or a small cavity, your dentist might recommend a tooth filling. In this process, the dentist will remove the damaged portion of the tooth and fill the space with a suitable material, often a resin that matches the tooth’s color. This material is then hardened using a special light, and the tooth is polished to make it look natural. This type of filling usually lasts about 10 years and blends well with the natural teeth, but it can still accumulate stains similar to natural teeth. Alternatively, you might opt for gold or silver fillings, which are more durable but also more expensive.
Dental Crown: Dental crowns are similar to fillings but are used when there’s less healthy tooth structure left. Dental crowns come in various materials, including metal, gold, or porcelain, depending on your needs and preferences. With proper care, they can last for many years. Regular dental check-ups every six months are advisable.
Veneers: Veneers are a great option for teeth that are not only damaged but also impact your smile’s appearance. Veneers are thin shells made from porcelain or resin composite material that are bonded to the front surface of the tooth. They can improve the shape, color, and overall appearance of your teeth. Veneers can last over 20 years if well-maintained and offer the advantage of both repairing damaged teeth and enhancing your smile.
Dental Implants: For more severe cases where a tooth is irreparable, such as when it’s completely broken or severely damaged, you might consider a dental implant. Dental implants involve replacing the damaged tooth with an artificial tooth root and a crown. This is a more comprehensive and long-lasting solution that restores both function and appearance.
Ultimately, the best course of action to take depends on the extent of the tooth damage and your dentist’s recommendations. Proper dental care and regular check-ups are crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding accidental damage.