Have you lost, chipped, cracked or
knocked out one or more teeth?
Did you bite down on a hard piece of candy? Do you grind your teeth at night? Did you take a hard fall? Sometimes our teeth don’t win every battle. At DC Dental Spa, we have treated thousands of patients with damaged teeth. Here is what you need to know:
What can damage your teeth?
Sudden changes in the temperature of food you are eating such as a hot soup then ice cream.
Trauma to the mouth from accidents
Bad cases of teeth grinding
Hard and/or tough food
Pressure from large fillings
What are symptoms of damaged teeth?
Severe or sharp pain when chewing or drinking
Short and sudden pain after biting
Unpredictable tooth pain at any time of day
Sensitivity to temperature changes inside the mouth
What should I do if I have a chipped or broken tooth?
The best course of action is to seek the opinion of a medical professional. Damage to your teeth can sometimes appear minor, but the severity of it cannot be seen with the naked eye. Cracks or chips can sometime be deeper than they appear and compromise the integrity of the teeth. If the crack or chip is large enough, the tooth root can be vulnerable to bacteria and tooth loss.
Some people do not experience any immediate pain from damage to their teeth and choose to ignore seeking dental treatment. Often, in these cases, pain will start to develop over time. The pain can be a warning sign of a possible infection that may lead to an extraction.
While damage to your teeth may not require same-day treatment, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist so that he or she can provide a treatment that can preserve your tooth and protect it from bacteria or infections.
How to repair a damaged tooth
Dental Filling or Bonding. Dental bonding is a simple, quick and painless solution to repairing damaged teeth. In most cases, the procedure requires minimal preparation as anesthesia is often not required. Dr. Rex or Marcus Hoang will begin the procedure by customizing a composite resin to match the natural color of your tooth. Then, he will prepare the tooth for adhesion by applying conditioning liquid. He will then apply, mold and smooth down the customized resin to restore the natural shape of your tooth. A bright laser is used to harden the resin after which, one of our doctors will make final touches to ensure the tooth repair is undetectable. At DC Dental Spa, dental bonding procedures take between 30-60 minutes per tooth.
Dental Cap or Crown. If the cracked tooth cannot be repaired with dental bonding, it may require a crown. Our dentists at DC Dental Spa have successfully treated thousands of dental cases with crown placements. Dr. Rex or Marcus Hoang will first ensure your comfort during the procedure by administering local anesthesia. He will then prepare your tooth for an impression to be made with a material that is similar to putty. This impression will be used to create a temporary and permanent crown. A temporary crown serves as a short-term solution while your permanent crown is created. During your first visit, he will place a tooth-colored crown using temporary cement and during your second visit, he will replace the temporary crown with a permanent one.
Dental Veneers. Dental bonding or crown placement cannot treat chipped or broken front teeth. In these cases, dental veneers may be required to repair the shape and color of your tooth. A dental veneer is made of tooth-colored porcelain or a composite that is applied to cover the front of the tooth. Similar to a dental cap or crown treatment, a veneer treatment requires two consecutive visits. During your first visit, Dr. Rex or Marcus Hoang will remove part of the enamel of your tooth to create an impression to send to a laboratory. It takes about 1-2 weeks for the lab to create a custom veneer from the impression. During your second visit, he will prepare the tooth for the veneer by applying a liquid and permanent cement. After the veneer is carefully placed, the dentist will use a light to help the cement harden. A custom veneer is created to match your tooth color and natural shape.
Learn more about dental veneers.
4. Root Canal. Depending on the size of the chip or crack, a root canal treatment may be a solution. A large chip or crack can expose the pulp at the center of the tooth to harmful bacteria that can cause damaged or diseased pulp. Damaged and diseased pulp can result in a tooth infection which can ultimately require the entire tooth to be extracted. In order to prevent the infection and possible extraction, a root canal may be required to remove the damaged or diseased pulp, clean the root canal and seal it for protection from bacteria.
Schedule an emergency dental appointment
These are common symptoms of and treatments for damaged teeth. However, every case is different and may require certain treatments that can only be recommended by a professional dentist. At our Washington DC practice, we offer free consultations, same day, weekend and evening emergency appointments. Contact our dental emergency hotline at any time to reach one of our emergency specialists.