What causes a cracked or broken tooth, and what should you do?
Teeth can crack, chip or break for multiple reasons; a fall, teeth grinding, accidents, sports injuries, and even biting into hard foods can damage your teeth. Some damage is immediately visible, whereas the naked eye can’t always see fine cracks. If you feel discomfort when eating or develop sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, you most likely have a crack in your tooth.
Cracked or chipped teeth don’t always cause pain, but there are ways to ease discomfort. Over-the-counter painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can be taken if your tooth is painful. If the area is sharp or jagged, you could cover it with sugar-free chewing gum to protect your cheeks, lips, and tongue.
Even if you think the damage is minimal, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. They can assess the extent of the damage and explain your treatment options. The problem could worsen without treatment, resulting in damage to the tooth’s nerve and possible tooth loss.
If you’ve suffered a dental injury, immediate attention is vital. Meanwhile, rinse your mouth with warm salt water to avoid infection and place an icepack (wrapped in a towel) on the affected area. If a tooth has fallen out with the root intact, put it in a small cup of milk until you reach the dentist as they may be able to reattach it.
During an emergency appointment, our clinicians will perform an oral examination and take X-rays when needed. They will decide whether you need treatment right away or whether they can make you feel more comfortable and schedule an appointment for a later date.
What A Dentist Can Do To Help?
Fortunately, many options exist for fixing a broken tooth. The type of treatment you receive depends on the location of the damage and its severity. Our dentists can help with cracked, chipped or broken teeth through various treatments, including:
This is typically a cosmetic dentistry procedure best suited to minor chips and cracks. The appeal of dental bonding is that it can be custom tinted to the colour and tone of the tooth for a seamless finish. Dental bonding is reasonably straightforward and uncomplicated. The tooth is etched, and a conditioning solution is applied to help the composite resin bond to the surface. Then the dentist places, shapes, and moulds the resin until the desired aesthetic and shape is achieved. Finally, the tooth is cured with ultraviolet light and polished. Patients can expect composite bonding to last between 3 to 10 years.
Root canal treatment
The dentist may recommend a root canal treatment if you have a severely cracked or broken tooth that has exposed the nerve. Root canal treatment removes infection, stops the pain, and ultimately saves the tooth. In most cases, a crown will be used later to support the weakened tooth and restore its aesthetic as it becomes brittle following the treatment and as is more likely to break.
A crown is a versatile treatment that dentists recommend for various issues, such as a chipped, cracked, deformed, decayed or broken tooth. When a tooth is cracked or broken, it can expose the internal structure to decay or infection. As a result, plaque, tartar, and bacteria can accumulate in and around the break, potentially creating further damage. When a crown is fitted, it covers the entire tooth from the top to the gumline protecting every surface. Made from various materials, including porcelain and resin, it supports the damaged tooth and enhances its appearance. Nobody will notice the difference because a crown can be colour matched to the surrounding teeth.
Porcelain veneers are custom-made for each tooth and hide minor imperfections such as fine cracks or chips. The difference between a veneer and a crown is that veneers cover just the tooth’s front surface. Because veneers are very thin and match the size, shape and colour of the surrounding teeth, they look incredibly natural.
If your broken tooth cannot be saved, you could ignore it and leave a gap in your smile, but missing teeth can lead to further problems like misalignment and a decline in oral health.
The good news is that most patients are eligible to receive a dental implant, provided they’re in good medical health and have a healthy mouth. Implants look, feel and function like natural teeth because, unlike other forms of tooth replacement, they are inserted into the jaw. 130,000 dental implants are placed every year in the UK, and the market is growing rapidly
In the majority of cases Implants take several months to complete, but our patients tell us the wait is worth it.
Don’t let a broken tooth spoil your smile
A broken tooth doesn’t have to be a source of embarrassment or worry. Thanks to the advancements in dental technology, there are lots of ways we can fix broken teeth and restore your smile’s beauty and functionality. Taking care of your oral health is essential, so don’t hesitate to visit the friendly team at Hermitage Dental Practice to explore your options for broken tooth repair. Call us today on 01530 510533 to arrange an appointment.