Dental Repairs to Fix a Broken ToothThe urgency of your situation and the severity of your broken tooth will affect the dental restoration your Healdsburg dentist recommends for your repair. Here are some of the possibilities that will both stabilize tooth structure and make a tooth look better:
- Tooth-colored filling: A tooth may only have a minor break, but that damage is big enough to still allow food particles and bacteria into the tooth, which means tooth decay or a deeper infection are likely. A tooth-colored filling is made of a durable composite that preserves as much of the natural tooth as possible while the repair blends in with the rest of your teeth.
- Porcelain crown: If a tooth is so badly damaged that the problem cannot be covered up successfully with a filling, a porcelain crown is customized to cover the entire tooth and color-matched to your other teeth. If the pain is severe, root canal therapy may be needed first to deal with the infection.
- Inlay or onlay: When a tooth-colored filling isn’t a big enough repair but a porcelain crown may be overkill, an inlay or onlay can correct a broken tooth. An inlay covers the top of a tooth and an onlay covers the top and at least one cusp, often known as a partial crown.
- Dental bonding: A break that’s just on the surface of a tooth and does not require drilling to repair can benefit from a dental bonding procedure. Non-invasive and quick, this solution is great for cosmetic breaks.
- Extraction: When a tooth is so badly broken that a dental restoration is not a guaranteed solution, the next course of action is tooth extraction. Your dentist will do everything possible to save a tooth before pulling it, but sometimes this solution is necessary to stop the pain and prevent further complications. You won’t be left toothless though – after the area has healed, you can replace the missing tooth with a dental implant or dental bridge.
Causes of a Broken ToothTeeth are incredibly strong and durable, but there are some situations that can lead to a broken tooth and serious damage. Some of the possible causes of a broken tooth include:
- A blow to the mouth: From a car accident to a sporting injury to a fistfight, a blow to the mouth can hit a tooth in just the wrong way and crack it.
- Falling: You may fall from tripping, clumsiness, or passing out, but if your tooth hits the ground before you do it could suffer severe damage.
- Biting down wrong: It is possible that typical behavior – eating – can break a tooth, especially if you’re chomping on hard candy or piece of ice. Using your tooth as a tooth and biting down on something that isn’t food can cause damage too.
- Teeth grinding: If you suffer from TMJ problems or regularly grind and clench your teeth but do not wear a mouthguard, you can weaken your tooth enamel and break it.
- Deteriorating dental work: A very old filling, especially a silver filling, or a decades-old crown may eventually need to be replaced but if they are not corrected sooner rather than later the tooth in question could suffer a break.