If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, you may be surprised to learn about the treatment options and repair. There are actually quite a variety of ways for you to deal with a damaged tooth, with solutions to fit different preferences and budgets. Here are some important factors to consider, to help you make an informed decision.
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Can I get immediate help for my damaged tooth?
Chipped or broken teeth aren’t usually considered dental emergencies. However, there are some exceptions. If you have a fractured tooth that leaves a nerve exposed, that is extremely painful. You should see an emergency dentist as soon as you possibly can.
That can be a problem, even in Beverly Hills. Because not all dental practices offer emergency dental care. Fortunately, Smile Angels of Beverly Hills offers professional treatment options 24 hours a day. So even if you chip or break a tooth outside of normal business hours, we have you covered.
Does my broken tooth need to be pulled?
It’s not always necessary to pull a broken tooth. In fact, the top priority of all dentists is to try and preserve your natural teeth. So if your dentist does recommend an extraction, you can be sure that not only is it in your best interests, but there is really no alternative solution for your specific situation.
If a simple extraction is all that’s necessary, however, it is really nothing to be afraid of. Your dentist will raise and loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator, then rock the tooth back and forth with dental forceps until it is loose enough to come out. And there are multiple options for sedation you can choose from.
- Oral medications – These are the mildest, they can make you feel calm and relaxed.
- Nitrous Oxide – You would inhale this through a mask that is placed over your nose.
- Intravenous – You would achieve the deepest state of relaxation with this type of sedation.
If you do need to have a tooth extracted, there are a couple of reasons why you may want to have it replaced. You may find it embarrassing if it will leave an empty space in a part of your mouth that will show when you speak or smile. Sometimes the placement of the empty space will make it difficult for you to eat, or cause you to bite your tongue or the inside of your cheek.
How can I replace a missing tooth?
If it’s necessary to extract your chipped or broken tooth then you have two ways of replacing it: a bridge or an implant. You will really need to discuss the options in detail with your dentist. But here are a few things you will want to consider.
Traditional dental bridges consist of parts: dental crowns, the false tooth, and the bridge that holds everything together. They basically put a false tooth in the gap left by the extracted one. It stays in place because it is attached to crowns that are applied to the teeth on either side of the gap.
It’s a multi-step process. So you may get a temporary bridge to wear while the permanent one is being created. There are also a couple of variations that may be available.
- Supported dental bridges – These bridges are supported by artificial implants, instead of your natural teeth. It’s a good choice if you are missing more than one tooth or if the teeth on either side of the gap are unhealthy.
- Metal-free bridge – Traditional bridges are made from standard metal, which can possibly corrode. But it’s possible to make them from porcelain or zirconia, which is a ceramic-like material that is very strong. Both of those are more durable than metal.
Implants are created by inserting a metal screw or post into your jaw, then adding an abutment that will hold a crown placed on it. The three steps are not done all at one time. So the process usually takes months to complete.
However, it is now possible to get same day dental implants, although the qualifications to be eligible for them are a bit stricter than for regular implants. If you have any chronic or auto-immune diseases, it will make it much more difficult to qualify. Even being a regular smoker will present some issues for being accepted.
Bruce Vafa DDS is a dental implants specialist. He will be able to explain exactly what is involved and answer any questions you might have.
How can I fix a damaged tooth, instead of replacing it?
One of the best ways to save your chipped or broken tooth is with a porcelain crown. They look so much like a real tooth, you can barely even tell them apart. Although this is also a multi-step procedure, since a copy of your tooth has to be made, it doesn’t usually take very long to complete the entire process.
If you live in Beverly Hills or the surrounding area, and you would like to learn more about the options for treatment and repair of chipped or cracked teeth, please contact Smile Angels of Beverly Hills to make an appointment to see Bruce Vafa DDS. He will help you decide which solution is best for you.
You may call us at (310)201-9001 or use the form on the Contact Us page for an appointment. But if you have a chipped or cracked tooth, you may also call us at (424) 253-5152 24 hours a day for emergency dental care.