A chipped or broken tooth is not always painful, but it can become painful if the sensitive parts of the tooth are exposed. Exposure to bacteria can cause infection. Cracks also can progress over time and split the tooth beyond repair. A chip in the enamel will not be painful because the enamel has no nerves and cannot register pain.
The optimum treatment for a broken tooth depends on the extent of the break and associated risk factors. With modern dentistry, a broken tooth can be restored using high-quality dental materials. And if the damage to the tooth is too severe, the tooth can be replaced with a dental implant; however, dental implants are not always possible, and professional assessment by an emergency dentist is required.
The dentist can restore mildly or moderately chipped teeth using dental bonding, dental veneers, or other suitable treatment options.
Dental Treatment Options for Broken Teeth
Your dentist will assess the nature of the crack to determine the most favourable dental treatment option. Some procedures are invasive, while others are non-invasive. In some instances, removal of the tooth may be the only option.
Dental crowns are tooth caps placed over broken teeth to conceal the visible cracks. Consequently, the tooth caps help in the restoration of the strength and other physical properties of teeth. Dental experts commonly use porcelain and ceramic caps. The caps are cemented adequately onto the tooth to ensure correct concealing of the affected tooth. Regular dental hygiene is essential to retain the beauty of the tooth caps.
The dentist can build up and restore most broken teeth in less than an hour. However, if the damage is beyond repair, the tooth can be removed and replaced by an artificial root and dental crown called a dental implant. These days dental implants are commonly used for damaged front teeth in the smile zone. The dental implant is an excellent treatment option, but they are not suitable for everyone, and sometimes they are not even possible.
Dental filling involves the repairing of a broken tooth. The filling restores the damaged part to its standard shape and function, and your dentist can suggest different fillings; silver amalgam, porcelain, silver, mercury, or other metals. The materials vary in terms of colour and strength.
Tooth fillings can last for many years without necessitating refilling if you practice the proper dental care tips. Poorly maintained dental fillings will require fillings or may warrant extraction of the teeth depending on the crack’s extent.
Broken teeth can sometimes be fixed via bonding. Bonding involves the covering of your tooth with a composite resin, which is coloured. The procedure is less expensive than other types of dental treatments. Typically, it is among the easiest and non-invasive dental procedures.
Anesthesia is not needed, and one visit to the dentist is enough. The dentist first uses liquid or gel to make the affected teeth a bit rough. The second procedure is adding an adhesive material, which is later followed by the coloured resin. To harden the added synthetic material, the dentist applies ultraviolet light.
Dental veneers are coloured shells that are attached to the front of broken teeth to restore beauty. The primary material used to make the veneers is either porcelain and resin. The process of attaching the veneers is complex and will require intensive procedures.
Root Canal Therapy
Badly broken teeth with a crack that extends down towards the root of the tooth might require root canal therapy when the tissues inside the tooth are damaged. Root canal therapy, commonly referred to as endodontics therapy, is a standard dental treatment method used to repair and save a natural tooth. Root canal therapy might be required when a large area of the pulp is affected or when there is much pain and discomfort associated with the broken tooth. Dentists will recommend this method if the crack on your tooth extends to the pulp. The purpose of a root canal treatment is to remove the damaged pulp. The root canal dentist will try to restore and save the natural tooth.
Extraction of a Broken tooth
If the crack damages the whole structure of the tooth, extraction may be inevitable. Also, if the breakages of the teeth are so severe, restoration of a normal function may be impossible. Finally, if the roots and canals are damaged, the dentist will recommend a tooth extraction. The space created due to tooth extraction can be refilled using a dental implant, a dental bridge or other suitable options.
Can a broken tooth be left alone?
A broken tooth should be assessed by a dentist as soon as possible. A loose tooth can block airways in vulnerable patients like children or patients who cannot speak. A simple crack, if left untreated, can progress into sensitive parts of the tooth over time and cause severe pain or lead to tooth loss.
Damage to the enamel of the tooth will not be painful. The tooth’s enamel is the most rigid material in the body and does not have a nerve or blood supply; therefore, enamel cannot repair itself, unlike bone. The dentine, however, which makes up the bulk of the tooth, can register pain. When damage to the tooth exposes the dentine, the tooth becomes sensitive to temperature changes. If the damage progresses to the tooth’s pulp, where the nerves and blood vessels are, it can cause severe pain.
What happens if I leave a broken tooth untreated?
It is not recommended to leave a broken tooth unchecked even if the broken tooth does not hurt. Cracks grow over time and can progress past the tooth’s hard tissues into the tooth’s pulp, causing infection and damage to the tooth’s nerves or leading to the loss of the natural tooth.