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.

Dental Bonding Process | Walnut Creek Dentist

bondingDo you have any stained, misaligned, chipped, or broken teeth? Are you look for a solution to restore them? If so, dental bonding may be the perfect solution for you! Dental bonding can be used as an alternative to veneers, and as a restorative procedure for crack, chipped, misaligned or discolored. This is type of cosmetic and restorative procedure takes an artist skill since you dentist has to repair and rejuvenate your teeth, while also having to improve the function and appearance of your smile. The material your dentist uses for dental bonding is composed of composite resin that hardens and fuses to your tooth when a specialized light is shined on it.

Dental Bonding Procedure:

  • First your dentist will start by applying an etching solution to your tooth/teeth that will be receiving the bonding material. The solution gently roughens the surface of your tooth to create a strong between the tooth and composite resin.
  • Then a thin layer of the bonding resin is placed on the surface of your tooth and is seal with a special kind of light. Many layers can be added and hardened. Each layer takes a couple minutes to harden.
  • After your dentist will start to sculpt the material to the desired shape and then is colored to match the shape of your very own natural teeth.
  • Finally to finish, the bonding material is polished until it’s entirely smooth.

The dental bonding can take up to two hours, but the results can last you up to ten years if taken care of properly. For more information concerning dental bonding, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontist in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit our website at

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

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.

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 Implant Aftercare Tips | Walnut Creek Dentist


If you’re considering on replacing your missing or damaged teeth with dental implants, you may be wondering how to go about taking care of your dental implants immediately after the surgery. After having your dental implants surgically installed it’s very important to take proper care of the surgical site. Dental implants require a clean environment to properly heal and most of the success of the dental implants relies on how well you take care of it. The following list includes advice on how to keep your dental implant for good.

  • Do Not Disturb- Immediately after getting your dental implant installed, you should leave the surgical site alone and avoiding bothering it as much as possible. Agitating the surgical site can slow down the healing process or could potentially lead to additional problems.
  • Ice it- There’s no need to worry if a part of your face swells over the first few days, it completely normal. To help reduce the swelling you can apply an ice pack to the affected area. Apply the ice pack frequently for the first 24 hours and take 20 minute breaks in between icing.
  • Consume Cautiously- Avoid swishing liquids around your mouth for the first week after the procedure. You should also eat soft food for the first few days and avoid eating or drinking anything hot following the procedure. When you do eat, avoid the implant as much as possible.
  • Keep it Clean- In order for your new dental implant to heal properly you must keep your mouth and the surgical site as clean as possible. It’s recommended that you rinse your mouth out with a warm salt water solution at least 4-5 times a day, preferably after every meal.
  • Exercise- Refrain from any physical activity for the first few days following your dental implant surgery since activity may cause unnecessary bleeding. If any of your regular daily activities do cause bleeding reduce the level of activity.

Once your dental implant has properly healed you must take care of it by brushing and flossing it like you would your very own natural teeth. Your dental implant will act and feel just like your natural tooth would. Make sure to take care proper care of your dental implant and it could last you a lifetime.

If you’re interested in learning more about the dental implant procedure, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontists in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit our website at for more information regarding restorative dentistry.

Five things you should know before getting a Crown | Walnut Creek Dentist

Dental crowns are one of the most common restorations that an individual can undergo when they visit the dentist.  The procedure, though quite simple, should spark some concerns in your mind. Here is a list of things to know before getting a crown.

  • Crowns are used to fix cracked teeth. A cracked tooth may be evident when it hurts to bite down.
  • There are other options to getting a crown. You may opt for a filling, however if the crack is large enough, it may require a crown in the future.
  • If you wait with a chipped tooth, nothing really happens. However, there are instances in which an untreated crack tooth may lead to a root canal treatment rather than a crown.
  • Root Canals are not necessary in order to produce a crown treatment.
  • If you have a large enough filling that covers about 2/3 or the tooth, you will probably need a crown to rest on top of it to ensure a full recovery of the tooth.

For more information on if you are in need of a dental crown call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

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

Are implant Supported Dentures Right for You? | Walnut Creek Dentist

What is it?

Implanted Supported Dentures are a type of denture in which involve the process of getting implants in the mouth to help fully support the denture. This type of denture is made mostly for individuals who don’t have any teeth in the jaw, but have enough bones in the jaw to support the implants.

The whole process takes about five months for the upper jaw and seven months for the lower jaw to complete. There are a series of steps in which an individual considering Implanted Supported Dentures must go through before they can begin this process.

There will be two surgeries that take place for the implants to be screwed in and fully healed before the dentures are actually fitted and placed in the mouth. Once the dentures are fitted for the mouth, you will be able to snap them in and take them out whenever you please. Due to the fact that they are screwed in, you will find it easier to keep the dentures in your mouth.

If you think Implant Supported Dentures are right for you, make an appointment today!

For more information on how Implant Supported Dentures can benefit your smile call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick also proudly accept patients from Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek Restorative Dentist | 3 Signs that you need a Dental Crown


Many patients are unaware of the signs that signal you need a dental crown. In order to treat your teeth as soon as possible and avoid further damage, Drs. Barmby and Frick strongly suggest looking for the following three signs that indicate you need a dental crown:

1.)    Deep Cracks- If you have a deep crack in your tooth, it is very likely that you will need a dental crown. Deep cracks allow for bacteria to build up and make its way to the nerve of the tooth which can cause breakage and permanent tooth loss.

2.)    Chipped tooth- A chipped tooth can also be a sign that you are in need of a dental crown. Because strong and healthy teeth do not chip, Drs. Barmby and Frick will examine the reason for the chip and decide if a crown is necessary to restore the function of your tooth.

3.)    Multiple cavities- Drs. Barmby and Frick agree that the more cavities you have on a tooth, the more your tooth is susceptible to damage and decay. If Drs. Barmby and Frick are not able to solve your dental problem with a dental filling, a dental crown will most likely be necessary.

Avoid waiting and call Drs. Barmby and Frick if you experience any signs that indicate that you are in need of a dental crown. Drs. Barmby and Frick are experts in preforming dental crowns and other dental restoration so make an appointment today.

For more information on if you are in need of a dental crown call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

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

Walnut Creek Dentist | How to Properly Maintain your Dentures


The most frequently asked questions Drs. Barmby and Frick receive regarding dentures have to deal with how to properly maintain dentures. For this reason, Drs. Barmby and Frick highly encourage patients to soak their dentures in antibacterial solution for the time duration indicated on the packaging. After being soaked, patients should begin gently brushing their dentures with either a tooth brush or denture brush. Once finished, patients should proceed to rinsing their dentures and going about their daily dental routines such as brushing and flossing remaining natural teeth.

Drs. Barmby and Frick emphasize the importance of properly cleaning and maintaining dentures because of the amount of debris that can accumulate over time. These left over food particles and debris catalyze the growth of bacteria in the mouth that can cause serious consequences to an individual oral health. To avoid any health issues, maintain your dentures by thoroughly cleaning and caring for your dentures.

For more information about how to properly maintain your dentures call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick also proudly accept patients from Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Oakland, Rossmoore, Berkeley, Martinez, and surrounding areas.