Our smiles are built to last! In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body; it’s even stronger even than our bones. But what can you do if you have a chipped or broken tooth?

First of all, cracking or breaking a tooth may not be something you can avoid but there are things you can do, or rather not do, to avoid breaking or cracking a tooth.

Steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks:

• Don’t chew on hard objects such as ice, popcorn kernels, or pens.
• Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
• If you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, talk to your dentist about getting a retainer or other mouthguard to protect your teeth.
• Wear a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports.

If you have chipped off just a small piece of tooth enamel, your dentist may repair the damage with a filling. If the repair is to a front tooth or can be seen when you smile, your dentist will likely use a procedure called bonding, which uses a tooth-colored composite resin.

Bonding is a simple procedure that typically does not require numbing the tooth. To bond a tooth, the dentist first etches its surface with a liquid or gel to roughen it and make the bonding material adhere to it. Next, the dentist applies an adhesive material to the tooth, followed by the bonding material. After shaping the bonding material to look like a natural tooth, the dentist uses high-intensity light to harden the material.

If a large piece of tooth breaks off or the tooth has a lot of decay, the dentist may grind or file away part of the remaining tooth and cover it with a crown, or tooth-shaped cap, made to protect the tooth and improve its appearance. Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, or all ceramic. Different types have different benefits. All-metal crowns are the strongest. Porcelain and resin crowns can be made to look nearly identical to the original tooth.

There is always the possibility that you may even need a root canal depending on the type of break.

Your teeth are incredibly strong, but they can still break under certain circumstances. If you experience a chip, crack, or breaking of a tooth see your dentist immediately.

For more information on your oral health contact Tory Hill Dental for an appointment at 207-929-6626 or via our website at https://toryhilldental.com.