Do You Have Broken or Chipped Teeth?

broken tooth

The enamel that covers your teeth is considered the strongest tissue in your body, making your teeth very durable. But that doesn’t mean that your teeth can’t still break, crack or chip.

Although very rare, your teeth can become damaged in such ways as a result of the following:

  • Biting into/onto something hard
  • Getting hit in the face or mouth
  • Taking a fall
  • Tooth decay or cavities that weaken the tooth
  • Large, old amalgam filling that doesn’t support the remaining enamel of the tooth

Unless a large enough piece of your tooth breaks, it likely won’t result in pain. However, if a large enough piece of your tooth does happen to break off, causing nerve damage inside of the tooth, it will result in pain. This is usually accompanied with tooth sensitivity, which is more noticeable when you drink or eat hot or cold foods or beverages.

When a tooth breaks or cracks, the pain, if any, often comes and goes. Many people have reported feeling pain when they chew; this is because chewing applies pressure to the damaged tooth.

What YOU Can Do About It

There’s nothing you can do to treat a cracked tooth from home, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist after discovering the damage. Sometimes your tooth may look fine, and only hurts when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes from drinking or eating something hot or cold. A serious warning sign that your nerves or blood vessels have been damaged is when your tooth is constantly hurting. You’ll know your tooth is cracked if it doesn’t hurt when you bite down, but is in pain when you release your bite.

Now if you have a broken tooth, it’s important that you see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to identify the cause of the break, and whether its caused damage to the tooth’s nerves. If the nerve is damaged, the tooth will usually require a root canal. While you can’t technically treat a broken tooth, there are some things you can do until you are able to visit your dentist:

  • Rinse your mouth out really well with warm water.
  • If there’s any bleeding, apply gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If that doesn’t work, use a tea bag and apply pressure to the affected area to stop the bleeding.
  • To help reduce swelling and pain, apply a cold ice pack to your cheek or lips over the broken tooth.
  • If you’re unable to see you dentist immediately, cover the broken tooth with a temporary dental cement. You can find temporary dental cement in a drugstore.
  • Take over-the-counter pain reliever.

What Your Dentist Can Do

Minor Cracks- Also referred as “craze lines”, are surface cracks that’s only affects the tooth enamel. Although these types of cracks rarely need treatment, your dentist may recommend polishing the area to smooth out any rough spots.

Cracked Teeth- This kind of tooth fracture involves the entire tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces of your tooth remain in place, but the crack gradually worsens. Cracked teeth can sometimes be repaired with filling materials, but oftentimes will need a crown to prevent the crack from worsening. If the tooth’s pulp is damaged, a root canal may be needed as well.

Chipped Teeth- Minor chips aren’t very noticeable and rarely require treatment. In the rare case that it does, your dentist may recommend using a tooth colored filling to make it look and feel better, while also preventing it from worsening.

Split Tooth- If your tooth split in two parts, it will require root canal treatment. Your dentist will have two roots that cannot be saved, and will place a crown over the root. In the worst case, where a root cannot be saved, your tooth will have to be removed.

Split Root or Vertical Breaks- This type of crack starts from the root and extends upwards, and are oftentimes painful. Most times, the tooth will have to be extracted.

Breaking Due To Decay- This is when your tooth has broken because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. Before your dentist is able to recommend you any treatment options to restore your tooth, they’ll first have to evaluate the severity of the condition. In worst cases, if the decay is has progressed down to the bone, your tooth will have to be removed.

There are several treatment options when it comes to repairing broken or chipped teeth. However, you should take precaution and know what you can do to prevent these sort of unfortunate things from occurring. For starters, you can wear a mouth guard while playing sports and avoid chewing on hard foods, especially hard candy.

If you have a broken tooth or suspect that you have a cracked tooth, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontics in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information.

What are Dentures? | Dentist Walnut Creek, CA

People can lose their natural teeth for a myriad of reasons. It could be due to injury, tooth decay or a number of different oral health problems. If you’ve lost teeth, your dentist has probably mentioned dentures to you. Dentures are artificial replacements for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth. Although dentures may take some getting used to and won’t ever feel exactly like your natural teeth, they have become more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable than ever before.

There are three main types of dentures; full dentures, partial dentures and implant dentures. Your dentist will help you determine the best type of denture that suits your individual needs based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to need replacing.

Types of Dentures:

Full Dentures- Full Dentures are used to replace a patients full set of missing teeth, the upper arch, lower arch or both. A set of artificial teeth a permanently a gum colored-base. Full dentures are either kept in place by suction or by an adhesive.

Partial Dentures- Partial dentures are used in cases where a patients are missing multiple teeth but not all of them in a single arch. Partial dentures are attached to metal clasps and the artificial teeth present your remaining natural teeth from shifting and becoming misaligned.

Implant Dentures- Implant supported dentures are secured in place by dental implants instead of just resting on your gums as traditional dentures do. Dental implants are surgically placed in your jaw bone and your dentures snap onto them preventing them from shifting around while you talk and eat. For the dental implants to be successful you must have adequate jaw bone structure.

If you’ve been considering replacing your missing teeth with dentures, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontists in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 to schedule a consult or visit our website at for more information regarding dentures.

Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick proudly accept patients from Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Oakland, Rossmoore, Berkeley, Martinez.

Top 10 Benefits of Dental Crowns | Walnut Creek Dentist

crownsA dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged tooth or implant to restore the shape, size, color and strength of the damaged or missing tooth. The tooth-shaped cap covers the entire tooth, from the chewing surface to the gum line. There are many benefits of dental crowns, the following list consists of the top ten benefits of dental crowns.

  1. Natural Looking– Porcelain and composite crowns resemble the look of your natural teeth because they imitate the light reflective properties of a natural tooth.
  2. Stain Resistant- Dental crowns made from porcelain are stain resistant.
  3. Durable- Dental crowns can last between five to fifteen years, depending on well they are taken care of.
  4. Non-slip- Unlike dentures, crowns stay in place because they are either cemented or anchored.
  5. Cosmetic- Dental crowns improve the look of broken, cracked or discolored teeth.
  6. Protection- When dental crowns are placed they protect the tooth from further decay.
  7. Comfort- Crowns are stable and don’t irritate the gums like partial dentures.
  8. Restorative- Due to the natural tooth like features, crowns restore full function to your damaged tooth.
  9. Speech- Missing teeth and dentures can affect your speech. Restoring the damaged or missing can help with a patient’s speech.
  10. Confidence- Having damaged, missing or discolored teeth can cause confidence issues. Restoring those teeth can make your smile like brand new.

If you have a damaged, stained or discolored tooth, and would like more information on dental crowns, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontist in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526. If you would like to learn more about the dental services we offer visit our website at

Top 5 Ways to Ease Root Canal Pain after Treatment |Walnut Creek Dentist

prosthodontics-tmj-alamo-caThere’s no doubt that a root canal procedure can cause some of the worst temporary oral pain you could experience. If you’ve just had a root canal or are planning on getting one done soon, follow the top five ways to help ease and sooth the pain after your procedure is finished.

  1. Make sure to take the antibiotics prescribed by your dentist.
  2. Relieve pain with anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen.
  3. Avoid eating hard, crunchy or tough foods for the first few days.
  4. Compress an ice pack onto the affected area to relieve pain.
  5. Use a numbing gel such as Oragel to relieve pain once the anesthesia wears off.

If you experience any discomfort or pain after your root canal treatment, follow the simple instructions list above to help get yourself comfortable. If the pain after your root canal treatment persists, be sure to contact your dentist office immediately.

If you’re experiencing any pain indicating that you may need a root canal, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontics in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 to schedule an appointment today. For more information regarding our services visit our website at

Composite and Porcelain Veneers | Walnut Creek Dentist

selfieDoes the thought of smiling in public make you feel uncomfortable due to having cracked, misshapen or discolored teeth? Do you have gaps between your teeth or short teeth you’d like lengthen? If so, veneers may be the perfect solution for you. Veneers are thin, custom made shells that are designed to cover the surface of your tooth, and when they are placed correctly they can produce a beautiful, natural looking smile.

Veneers are either composed of porcelain or composite materials. Composites require less of your natural tooth to be removed. As where porcelain veneers are more stain resistant and better mimic your natural teeth. Both have their very own advantages, those include the following:


  • Placed more concretively, thus preserving more of your natural tooth
  • Dentist can remove and replace composites as needed
  • Can be placed in one day and can last up to 4-8 years
  • Durable and resistant to small and midsize cracks in teeth

Porcelain Veneers

  • Stain resistant to classic stains such as coffee, tea, soda and smoke
  • Durability is comparable to natural tooth enamel
  • Can be customized to match your natural tooth
  • Imitates the light reflecting properties of a natural tooth

If you would like to learn which option is best suited for your individual needs, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontics in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 to schedule a consultation today. For more information regarding composites and porcelain veneers visit our website at

Silver Amalgam vs. Composite Fillings | Walnut Creek Dentist

Woman with flowerOur mouths are homes to all types of bacteria and without proper oral hygiene tooth decay can occur, resulting in cavities. Once cavities start to develop you must have the decayed areas of the tooth removed and filled with a durable material. The choices you are offered to fill the void are composite filling or silver amalgam, more commonly known as silver fillings. Before there were composite filling, the only filling choice patients has were silver fillings. Fortunately, there have been many advances in dentistry and now you have the option to choose a more aesthetically pleasing route with composite fillings, also known as tooth colored fillings. The following compares composite fillings to the traditional silver amalgam fillings:

Composite Fillings


  • Preserves more of your natural tooth
  • No health risks with composite fillings
  • Composite fillings can be matched to your natural tooth
  • Reports of less post-treatment sensitivity and discomfort


  • Composite fillings are higher in cost
  • Tooth colored fillings require more skill on your dentists part

Silver Amalgam Fillings


  • Silver fillings are lower is cost due to the materials used
  • Doesn’t require special tools or techniques to be placed
  • Longer lasting compared to tooth colored fillings
  • Take less time to place


  • Temperature changes in the mouth can cause the silver fillings to contract or expand over time
  • Silver amalgam is noticeable
  • Some patients fear the potential danger of mercury found in the material
  • More of the natural tooth has to be removed

To learn which procedure best suits your personal needs, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontists in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit our website at for more information regarding restorative dentistry.

Options for Replacing Missing Teeth | Walnut Creek Dentist

Beautiful Girl - Close Up Do you having missing teeth that need replacing? Do your missing teeth prevent you from smiling on a daily basis? Some people will experience a drastic loss of self-confidence with they live with missing teeth. Fortunately, there are several dental procedures that can help you regain your smile and confidence you once had. Some of those options include the following:

  • Partial Dentures- Partial dentures are used in patients that are missing few or several teeth. This type of denture is made with a plastic base or a metal framework that supports the number of teeth that need replacing. Partial dentures made with metal framework is the traditional design, due to the strength of the metal. Partial plastic dentures are typically used for emergency or as temporary replacements.
  • Complete Dentures- This type of denture is used cases where patients are missing a full set of teeth, either on the top jaw, bottom jaw or both. Complete dentures are made of plastic base that’s colored to replicate your gum tissue and supports a full set of plastic or porcelain teeth. They are held in place by forming a seal with the gums. They can also be help in place by attaching them to dental implants.
  • Dental Implants- This dental procedure is commonly used in cases where patients are missing teeth located towards the front of their mouth. An artificial tooth is anchored to the implant, which is integrated into the structure of your bone. This insures the longevity of your dental implant. This is a more aesthetically pleasing option.

Not all dental procedures are suitable for everyone. Only a professional will be able to determine the right course of action to take for your individual needs.

If you would like to discover the best option to replace your missing teeth, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontics in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 to schedule a consultation today. For more information visit our website at

How to Properly Care for Your Dentures


DenturesRemovable partial or full dentures require proper care to keep both the health of your dentures and mouth. By taking proper care of your dentures you can avoid staining and keep them looking their best. Keeping the following rules in mind you can keep you dentures in the best of shape:

  • Remove and Rinse after Eating- Run warm water over your dentures to remove food debris and other loose particles.
  • Handle Carefully- Make sure while you’re cleaning your dentures you don’t bend or damage the plastic by brushing to hard. Make sure to moisten denture brush before cleaning to avoid scratching the surfaces of your dentures.
  • Brush Daily- Clean your dentures at least once a day by soaking and brushing them with a nonabrasive dentures cleaner to remove leftover food debris or plaque. Never use the dentures cleaner in your mouth.
  • Keep Your Mouth Clean- After removing your dentures clean your mouth using a soft bristled tooth brush. Brush your natural teeth, tongue, gums and palate.
  • Soak Dentures Overnight- Most types of dentures need to stat moist to uphold their shape. Store dentures in either water or a denture soaking solution. Make sure to rinse your dentures before wearing them if they were soaking in a denture solution.

What should be avoided?

  • Abrasive Cleaning Materials- Avoid using firm bristled-brushed, harsh toothpastes and heavy denture cleaners.
  • Whitening Products- Don’t use toothpastes or any products advertised at whitening products. They are typically abrasive and should be avoid on dentures.
  • Hot Water- Avoid using hot or boiling water to clean your dentures. The hot water will distort your dentures.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to properly care for your dentures, contact Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit our website at for more information.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays | Dentist Walnut Creek


There are several ways to go about repairing teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay or cavities, some of those restorative options include inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach than dental crowns are because they don’t require as much of your natural tooth to be removed. This procedure is also considered less invasive an in some cases are a better choice for patients. Many benefits stem from inlays and onlays, some of those benefits include the following:

  • Natural Looking- Inlays and onlays are made up of a mixture of porcelain and composite resin, which creates a more natural looking appearance.
  • Durability- Since inlays and onlays are made from a stronger material than crowns, they typically last longer and provide additional support.
  • Tooth Preservation- Inlays and onlays don’t require your dentist to remove as much of your natural tooth structure, thus preserving more of your natural tooth.
  • Hygiene- Inlays and onlays are custom made for each individual tooth making them easier to clean and bacteria is less likely to get into the affected area after treatment.
  • Expansion- Inlays and onlays don’t expand and contract in the same way as filling materials reducing the stresses on the tooth.

If you would like to learn more about inlays and onlays, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontists in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit our website at for more information regarding restorative dentistry.

Dental Crowns and Bridges can fix a Myriad of Problems


Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges are dental prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants. Unlike dentures, which can be taken out, dental crowns and dental bridges can only be removed by a dentist.

Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are cemented to existing teeth or implants that surround an empty space, serving as anchors for the dental bridge. Porcelain is the most common material choice because it can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

Dental Crowns

A Dental Crown covers a damaged tooth. They are used for various reasons such as strengthening a damaged tooth, improving the tooth’s appearance or shape and to fix alignment issues.  As with dental bridges, dental crowns can be made of porcelain.

When would I need a dental crown?

  • To attach a dental bridge
  • Replace a filling when not enough tooth remains
  • Protecting weak teeth
  • Fractured tooth
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had a root canal

Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges are fairly easy to take care of. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist on a regular basis. Also, steer clear of chewing hard foods such as ice. Follow these simple rules and your dental crowns and dental bridges could last a lifetime!

Contact Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick at Walnut Creek Prosthodontics for an appointment and free information on Dental Crowns and Dental bridges at (925) 934-5526 or visit our website