Fix Broken Teeth
Breaking a tooth can be a scary and potentially painful dental emergency but fortunately, there are a number of options available to patients to fix a broken tooth rather quickly. A broken tooth can happen in an instant as a result of chewing hard foods, a cavity, or an accident and can be painful if not treated quickly. Even if you are not having any pain in a broken tooth, it is important to get it examined as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Most dental offices reserve time in their schedule specifically for emergencies so call your dentist as soon as you can to see if you can get in that day. Even if you break a tooth at night or after business hours, call your dental office since most will leave an after-hours contact number on their messaging system. Your dentist will present some options for you and discuss what treatment will best serve your individual needs.
What are my options to fix a broken tooth?
Fortunately, advances in dental technology makes restoring a broken tooth quick and simple! Some options that may be present it to you include:
- Dental Sealants: Dental sealants are a hard, protective plastic coating applied to the biting surface of molars and premolars. They are often applied to children’s molars to protect them from decay but they can also be used to repair broken molars and keep them healthy, protecting them from cavity-causing bacteria.
- Dental Bonding: A lot of people like dental bonding because it is quick and relatively cheap in comparison to some other options. Bonding is a non-invasive restorative option to fix a broken tooth. It is only appropriate for small chips and breaks and while the composite material used is very strong, it is not as strong as porcelain and therefore is not great for anterior teeth. Bonding is also more susceptible to staining and chipping that porcelain options.
- Composite Fillings: As with bonding, a dental filling uses composite material to restore a damaged tooth. Fillings are most commonly associated with cavities but can be used on broken teeth.
- Dental Crowns and Veneers: Porcelain crowns and veneers are the best way to restore broken teeth, as long as the tooth is not broken in a manner that is deemed hopeless. The same process is used for each restoration but where crowns fit over the entire tooth structure, veneers cover the front of the tooth and wrap around the edges to the back of the tooth. This allows for a completed look but keeps more natural tooth structure. Crowns and veneers are fabricated from porcelain so they are both durable and will not stain.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are reserved for more severe cases. If your dentist determines that a broken tooth cannot be saved, they may suggest you have an implant placed to restore your smile. A tooth can break all the way down to the gum line which would make it impossible to restore using a crown. In this case, you would need to have the root extracted and an implant placed.
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