Accounting for a majority of dental injuries, chipped tooth is a common problem in America. A variety of factors can contribute, including biting down hard, weakened filling, untreated cavity, and suffering a sudden impact. Irrespective of how it occurs, a damaged tooth is a matter of concern, but it can be easily treated with appropriate care. Depending on the type, extent and location of the injury, there are some common procedures, including crowns, filings and dental bonding. When the nerve in the pulp is exposed, root canal treatment may also be required. Based on the degree of damage, here are a few appropriate treatments you can have.
Simple polishing is sufficient to fix small chips at the edges of teeth, and at times, dental bonding may also be required. In the process of bonding, the lost tooth structure is restored by applying some special materials to the tooth surface. The strong material is made up of a mixture of glass fillers and plastic resin, which fixes firmly to the teeth. Bonding can be done on single visit; however it may need replacement when chipped or stained. A permanent, although expensive alternative to this is porcelain veneers. In a majority of cases, small to moderate chipped tooth won’t lead to an emergency condition, unless you leave it untreated for long.
If a significant portion of your tooth has chipped off, it should be recovered if possible. In a few cases, bonding may be used to reattach. If a portion of the ridged chewing surface breaks off, but with the roots intact, it can be restored with a full crown or an onlay. But, in case, the damage extends to tooth’s pulp- the connective tissue, blood vessels and the nerves, it will cause pain and discomfort. Root canal is generally required for this injury type. In this process, a small hole is made in the tooth for accessing the pulp, and all the dead tissues are removed with tiny instruments. The cavity inside the tooth is disinfected and filled up with biocompatible material, permanently closing the hole. A dental cap restores the tooth to its aesthetic appearance and full function.
In an extremely worse case, broken tooth may be a serious condition that may involve bleeding and sharp pain, and immediate action might be required. See a dentist immediately, in case you encounter such an issue. The tooth can often be saved, if the break occurs above the gum line. In case the nerve has been exposed, a root canal treatment might be needed, and the tooth structure may be restored via dental crown or bonding. Extraction may become necessary, if it is broken below the gum line. There are several tooth replacement methods available, including natural-tooth-supported bridges and dental implants that can deliver lifelike and functional prosthetic teeth.
Figuring out that you have a broken tooth can cause surprise and a little pain, but with advanced dentistry, there are a variety of methods to restore your smile!