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How to Fix a Broken Tooth

How to Fix a Broken Tooth

Teeth can break, this much is true! Even though enamel is the strongest substance found in the human body, teeth can break due to a number of reasons. If you have a broken tooth, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. In this blog post we’ll discuss the different ways that teeth can be repaired. We will also talk about the pros and cons of each repair method.

How Teeth Can Break

tooth with cracks and taped together

There are three main ways that teeth can break:

  • Crown fracture: This type of fracture occurs when the tooth’s enamel is cracked or chipped. Crown fractures are usually caused by trauma to the mouth, such as a fall or a blow to the head, but fractures can also occur from repeated use and abuse.
  • Root fracture: A root fracture occurs when the tooth’s root is cracked or broken. Root fractures are usually caused by trauma to the mouth, such as a fall or a blow to the head.
  • Chipped crown: A chipped crown occurs when a piece of the tooth’s enamel chips off. Chipped crowns are often caused by biting on hard objects, such as ice cubes or hard candy.  Alternatively, chips in teeth can be a sign of an unbalanced bite, causing damage from unbalanced forces.  

Common Causes of Broken Teeth

There are several common causes of broken teeth:

  • Trauma to the mouth: A fall or a blow to the head can cause the tooth’s enamel to crack or break.
  • Biting on hard objects: Biting on hard objects, such as ice cubes or hard candy, can cause the tooth’s enamel to crack or break.
  • Decay: Tooth decay can weaken the tooth’s enamel, making it more susceptible to breaking.
  • Bruxism: Bruxism is a condition that causes people to grind their teeth. This can happen through daily habits, or patients may be completely unaware of the issue if it happens while sleeping.  Bruxism weakens the tooth’s enamel and makes it more susceptible to breaking.
  • Malocclusion:  When the forces of a strong bite are out of balance, the teeth can suffer premature wear and be more susceptible to fractures.
  • Acid reflux can weaken enamel and contribute to nighttime bruxing and future fractures.

Fixing a Broken Tooth

If you have a broken tooth it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, a crack can continue into the pulp of a tooth, necessitating the need for a root canal or even extraction.  There are several ways that teeth can be repaired, including:

Composite Bonding:

Composite bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin is used to repair the tooth. This method is less invasive and involves your dentist bonding composite resin to the enamel in order to repair the fracture.  Bonding is generally the easiest, although weakest material to fix a fractured tooth.

Veneers:

construction scaffolding around a tooth

Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of the front teeth. They are considered a less invasive approach since they do require some enamel modification, but not as much as crowns. Veneers made of porcelain are more esthetic, though can be prone to chip or fracture if the patient has an aggressive bite.

Dental Crowns:

A dental crown is a porcelain cap that is placed over the tooth. This method is more invasive than composite bonding and veneers, however, dental crowns are considered to be the best way to structurally repair broken teeth and they can be used for more severe fractures.

Extraction with Dental Implants:

In some cases, the best way to repair a broken tooth may be to extract it and replace it with a dental implant and crown.  Implants have a high cost of investment compared to crowns and fillings, but because they are titanium they do not decay, patients can keep an implant for life with good care.  

Which treatment is right for you will depend on the severity of your injury and your personal preferences. Your dentist will be able to help you decide which treatment is best for you.

In Conclusion

We hope this information will be helpful to you if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to repair a broken tooth.  Staying in touch with your dentist and having regular, routine check-ups is a smart way to monitor chances of future tooth repairs.  Thank you for reading!

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