Broken Teeth: 5 Ways A Dentist Can Fix Your Smile
Experiencing a broken or chipped tooth can feel like a nightmare. Not only can it be painful, but there’s also the worry that you may have ruined your smile for good.
Don’t worry. No matter how bad your tooth looks, it’s likely there are a few options your dentist can take to restore or replace your tooth and have you smiling again.
The most important thing after breaking or cracking your teeth is to get it seen by a dentist.
What happens if you leave a cracked tooth untreated?
It may sound weird to leave a broken tooth untreated, but a broken or fractured tooth doesn’t always hurt. If the break doesn’t affect the pulp of your tooth, there’s a chance your broken tooth might not cause you any pain. However, over time a cracked or broken tooth is at risk of causing pain, sensitivity, tooth decay, infection and may ultimately lead to tooth loss.
A damaged tooth may die within a few days or even after a few months. The sooner you see a dentist about repairing the tooth, the higher the chance it can be repaired.
A cracked, fractured, chipped or broken tooth should always be treated as an emergency. Here are five ways a dentist can fix your broken tooth:
For a small chip, a dentist may be able to recontour the shape of your tooth to make it look better and ensure there are no sharp edges to your tooth. Recontouring involves the dentist shaving and smoothing the edges of your tooth so that it is smooth and looks more like the rest of your teeth.
This is only recommended for very small chips or cracks and is a cosmetic dentistry solution to change the shape, or surface of your teeth. Recontouring can also be done for purely aesthetic reasons regardless of whether you have a broken tooth.
Dental bonding is a good option for broken teeth, especially if there has been no damage to the pulp or your tooth isn’t decayed. During the dental bonding procedure the dentist uses a bond made of composite resin to repair the chip. The composite colour is similar to the colour of your tooth and the end result is often unnoticeable.
Dental bonding can help restore the look of your smile and make chewing and eating feel normal again after breaking your tooth. Dental bonding is not an option for teeth that have a lot of damage. You may instead opt for a crown or a root canal.
If your tooth is too damaged for dental bonding, a dental crown might be the best option. A crown helps prevent the remaining tooth from further decaying while restoring the look and function of the tooth. Dental crowns are like caps which help to protect the tooth.
Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramics and don’t require any special care over time.
During the dental crown procedure, your tooth will be reshaped into a small mound so that the dental crown can fit over top, like a hat. It is then cemented into place over your tooth. This will prevent your tooth from further damage. Onlays and ¾ crowns are smaller than regular dental crowns and cover less of your tooth.
For badly damaged teeth, where the pulp, nerve endings or roots are exposed, a root canal may be the best option. When your tooth has a deep crack in it or the pulp is, bacteria can easily cause an infection.
In this case, a dentist will perform a root canal and remove the damaged parts of the tooth. They will then disinfect the area to clean and prevent bacteria from causing an infection. After the root canal you may have a crown installed or a dental implant. Dental implants are a good option if there isn’t enough of your old tooth to fit a crown over.
If your tooth is severely damaged it may need to be removed during a root canal or pulled out altogether. In this case, a dental implant may be installed surgically by placing a titanium receptor into the jawbone. Once the implant has healed a crown is fitted to the top so that your tooth now looks and feels like a regular tooth.
While this procedure takes a few months from tooth removal to the insertion of the receptor and the fitting of the crown, your dental implant should last you for a lifetime.
What to do if you have a broken tooth
If you have experienced a broken tooth or suspect you may have a tooth fracture, the most important thing you can do is to see a dentist immediately. At Gentle Dental, we have same day appointments to ensure that we can see you as soon as possible.
Our dentists will take a look at your tooth and provide the best course of action to repair the look of your smile. Book an appointment here or contact us for a same-day appointment.