While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.
“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.
Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.
Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).
For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.
Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.
If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”
April Smile of the Month
Brittany came to the office looking to align her smile and close the spaces. With clear aligner therapy, in just a short 8 months, Dr. Freilich was able to close the spaces in her teeth. Invisalign® straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. It's virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you're straightening your teeth. Call the office today to schedule your free Invisalign consult and see if Invisalign is right for you!
March Smile of the Month
Mario is a long time patient of the office and wanted to improve his smile. Due to clenching and grinding, Mario's teeth were worn down. Dr. Freilich was able to whiten and broaden Mario's smile with a combination of bridges and crowns. We didn't think it was possible to make Mario even more handsome but his new smile made it happen!
Dr. Freilich's April Smile of the Month:
Meet Anthony, our April Smile of the Month. Anthony came in to the office for a consultation to have a smile makeover. He wanted to straighten his teeth without the hassle and expense of getting braces. With cosmetic bonding Dr. Freilich transformed his smile. Anthony left the office and he was delighted, and said it turned out better than he could have ever imagined!
Dr. Freilich's March Smile of the Month:
Each month we will pick a “Smile of the Month,” introducing our own patients with work done here in our office! Shawn came to the office in hopes of a new and improved smile. Dr. Freilich transformed Shawn’s smile and restored his self-confidence along with a more youthful appearance.
Shawn is thrilled with his smile and said “this is the best thing that could have happened to me!”
At Family and Cosmetic Dentistry there is no smile we cannot transform. If you would like further information about how we can customize a smile makeover for you, please contact our practice today! Turn your smile from ordinary to extraordinary!
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