It can be so scary to realize that your tooth is cracked or broken. There are so many factors that can cause your tooth to break or crack without warning. The outermost and strongest layer of the teeth is known as the enamel. At the core of the tooth is the pulp, it’s a soft part of the tooth that contains the blood vessels and nerves. In most cases, frequent jaw clenching, teeth grinding (bruxism) and crunching on hard objects can damage your tooth enamel, leaving the pulp exposed.
It can be really painful when the tooth has suffered a crack, you will experience lots of pain and discomforts when biting or chewing. Extreme tooth sensitivity , especially if your food is in extreme temperature (very hot or cold) is also very common. Luckily, there are available tooth repair procedures that can repair your smile.
However, the right treatment plan and procedure for your tooth repair will depend on how badly your tooth was damaged. You should call your dentist as soon as possible to let him know if your tooth is cracked in half. Your dentist will have to check the tooth and identify the type of damage. The dentist will also determine the best restorative treatment to use based on his findings.
Types of tooth damage
- Fractured cusp: this type of tooth damage, don’t usually cause much pain. Fractured cusp is a condition where a piece of a tooth’s chewing surface breaks off.
- Cracked tooth: cracked tooth is more serious than fractured cusp, it requires more attention from a dentist, depending on the severity of the cracking. It involves a crack that extends from the chewing surface vertically towards the tooth root. Cracked tooth can be so painful. The damage can worsen if it’s left untreated and can even result to loose tooth or tooth loss.
- Craze lines: this are shallow tiny cracks that affects only the outermost tooth layer. Craze line do not cause any pain, it only creates rough and imperfect tooth edges. It’s commonly seen in older adults.
- Split tooth: a split tooth tends to be very painful as it involves the exposure of the tooth pulp. It’s usually as a result of untreated long-term cracked tooth. The split can be large, it runs vertically down the tooth with distinct segments that can be separated.
- Vertical root fracture: this type of tooth fracture usually begin from the root of the tooth. The crack starts from the root and extends up towards the chewing surface to the outer enamel of the tooth. (1) The fracture might go unnoticed, they are often discovered when the surrounding bone or gum becomes infected.
Broken Tooth Repair Procedures
The approach for repairing a broken tooth by a dental professional, will be strongly affected by how extensive the fracture is. Dental fillings and bonding is usually recommended for the restoration of smaller chipped portion of the teeth. In most cases, if the fracture is too big for fillings, an endodontic surgery may be required to remove the fractured portion. A dental crown, root canal or tooth extraction may be required. Here are dental restoration procedures that can be used to repair your cracked or broken tooth.
Veneers are special teeth covering. The use of veneers for teeth repair is indeed popular, because they provide the most attractive and realistic results possible. A veneer can be specially crafted and bonded to the affected tooth, especially for patients with broken front tooth. The veneer helps to mask the damage on the cracked or broken tooth. However, veneers are not suitable for patients that grind their teeth. Since veneers are not so strong like our teeth enamel, teeth grinding can wear them down within short period of time.
Dental crown is a form of cap that is used to cover a damaged tooth. Crowns are usually recommended if the damages on the teeth are too large or severe for fillings or veneers. Crowns are overly strong and can be used to restore the natural appearance and functionality of the affected teeth. Just like the veneers, crowns are specially made from tooth-colored materials in order to create a natural, uniform look. They appear just like the natural teeth, they can even withstand the pressure of chewing and grinding. You can check out my posts on crowns to learn more.
3. Dental Bonding
Dental bonding involves the use of tooth-colored materials which are positioned or glued into a chip or crack on a tooth. This restoration treatment is more easier and less expensive than most other procedures that I mentioned in this article. There is no need for anesthetics, the agents are glued into the cracks they harden, giving a natural looking finish. Composite bonding is widely used in dentistry to repair chipped, cracked, decayed, discolored, misshapen, and gapped teeth. (2)
4. Dental Implant
Tooth extraction is often recommended for most severely damaged teeth that cannot be saved through dental repair treatments. Extraction might be the only option if the crack in your tooth has extended way below the gum line. Luckily, the removed tooth can be replaced with an artificial tooth, denture, bridge or Implant. Dental implants is popularly used in dentistry to replace missing teeth. Dental implants take the place of your missing teeth. The implants can lasts for more than 15 years when they are fixed securely in your jawbone.
It might sound scary, but there is nothing to worry about. The materials used for dental implants are highly biocompatible. This means that they are safe for use, the materials can stay in the mouth without causing any damages or side effects to the body tissues.
5. Root canal treatment
In cases where the internal structure of the tooth has been severely damaged, it can be corrected using root canal treatment. You will have to go for root canal If the crack in your tooth has extended into the pulp. This procedure is very painful, but it can save your natural tooth root after you must have undergone the cleaning and filling process.
The root canal treatment, involves clearing out the decayed tooth matter and removing the nerve. A suitable crown can be placed over the tooth after root canal in order to protect the crack from spreading.
There are different types of tooth damage, dentists would not normally consider some of the damage as an emergency. Some of the damages are really painful, while others can be pain-free with no bleeding and little trauma to the tooth. It is always advisable to see a dentist as soon as possible if you notice that your tooth is chipping or cracking. Numerous broken tooth repair are available, there are restorative and cosmetic procedures to repair damaged teeth. The right treatment will only be determined by how bad the damage on your tooth is.
Although, there are possible solutions to fix a chipped or broken tooth at home. Most of these homes remedies and procedures are not permanent or reliable. Going for proper dental evaluation and treatment from a dental professional is always the best option, if you want to repair a damaged tooth.