Imagine you’re enjoying a nice warm day, cooling off, crunching on a piece of ice when suddenly you notice something hard in your mouth that isn’t melting or going away. When you spit out this unidentified object, shockingly, you realize it is a piece of a broken tooth.
Experiencing a broken tooth can be distressing, leading to discomfort, sensitivity, and potential dental complications. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers several effective solutions to repair a cracked tooth and restore your smile.
In this blog post, we will explore treatments to fix a broken tooth and alleviate any dental anxiety you may have.
Cracked Tooth Vs. Chipped Tooth
Cracked teeth are a common dental issue that can cause pain, sensitivity, and discomfort. Although cracked teeth are an extreme concern to dental health, our teeth often begin to have smaller cracks on the surface as we get older. These are referred to as “craze lines” and these are cracks in the tooth enamel that develop from normal wear and tear. Generally speaking, these are not serious as long as they do not start to penetrate deep into the inner surface of the tooth. That is when you could experience pain and discomfort.
A cracked tooth typically needs more extensive treatment than one that has just been chipped. The severity and location of the crack determine the appropriate treatment option.
A chipped tooth occurs more frequently in the front teeth. Most people who experience a chipped tooth are mainly concerned about aesthetics and functionality. A chipped tooth is usually something that can be fixed in a day (depending on the severity).
Overcoming Dental Anxiety
If you experience dental fear or anxiety related to a broken tooth or any dental procedure, it’s important to communicate your concerns with your dentist. They can offer various strategies to help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during treatment, such as conscious sedation or the use of relaxation techniques.
The bottom line is to not avoid the dentist altogether because of your dental anxieties. The reality of this decision is that you will probably be dealing with more procedures and health issues if you try to skip the dentist. If you want to learn more about reducing your dental anxiety, check out our blog “6 Tips To Help Handle Dental Anxiety”.
It is crucial to consult with a dentist to determine the most appropriate treatment based on the specific crack’s severity and location.
How To Care for a Broken Tooth
See your dentist right away if your tooth is fractured, chipped, or broken. Otherwise, you run the risk of further damaging or infecting your teeth, which could lead to eventual tooth loss.
While you wait to see the dentist, here are some things you can do in the meantime:
- Take acetaminophen or another over-the-counter pain treatment if the tooth hurts. Utilize salt water to rinse your mouth.
- To prevent a sharp or jagged edge from cutting your tongue, the inside of your lip, or the cheek, cover the break if it has one. You can use a piece of wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum.
- If you must eat, choose soft foods and refrain from biting your fractured teeth.
Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for other care items you can do in the meantime! Once you are able to see your dentist, they will determine the best treatment for your broken tooth. There are a few different treatments that are commonly used to fix broken teeth.
5 Cracked Tooth Solutions
Dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin to the cracked area and reshaping it to restore the tooth’s appearance and strength. Dental bonding is a simple and cost-effective solution for minor cracks or chips in the tooth, that primarily deal with damaged tooth enamel.
In this procedure, your dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin material to the affected area, reshaping and bonding it to the tooth. After shaping the bonding material to look like a natural tooth, the dentist uses an ultraviolet light to harden the material. Dental bonding is quick, painless, and can significantly improve the appearance and strength of the cracked tooth.
If the front teeth are broken or chipped, dental veneers can make them look whole and healthy again. Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells that cover the front surface of a cracked tooth to improve its appearance and protect it from further damage. They are often made of porcelain or composite resin and can provide a natural-looking and durable solution. Veneers can not only restore the appearance of your smile but also strengthen and protect the damaged tooth.
A dental crown may be the recommended treatment option for more severe cracks or fractures. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fully encase a cracked tooth, providing strength, protection, and an aesthetically pleasing result. Crowns can be made from various materials, such as porcelain, metal, or a combination, based on your specific needs.
Root Canal Therapy
In cases where a cracked tooth extends into the dental pulp, root canal therapy may be necessary. Root canal therapy may be necessary if the crack extends into the dental pulp. It involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the root canal, and sealing it to prevent infection. A dental crown is typically placed over the treated tooth to restore its strength and functionality.
In severe cases where the tooth cannot be saved, extraction may be necessary. Dental implants can then be considered as a tooth replacement option. In such cases, dental implants can provide a reliable and long-lasting solution. Dental implants involve surgically placing a titanium post into the jawbone, which acts as an artificial tooth root. A custom-made crown is then attached to the implant, restoring both function and aesthetics.
In any case with broken or cracked teeth, remain calm and make sure to keep the area clean and unbothered from other teeth. As stressful as this situation may be, remember that you are not the first or last person to deal with broken teeth and that there are many options available to get your smile looking as good as new!