If you’ve cracked or chipped a tooth, you’re likely to know it. Even minor damage can result in major swelling, sensitivity, and pain. And leaving a damaged tooth untreated can lead to even more serious problems later.
Dentists at Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) can fix a broken tooth, improve your oral health, and save your smile.
Tooth enamel is the strongest material in your body, but it’s not invincible. Most dentists see tooth fractures on a daily basis.
Some dental health conditions, such as malocclusions (misaligned bites) or bruxism (grinding teeth), lead to chips and cracks, and oral trauma can even strike at any moment. A cracked or chipped tooth is nothing to be embarrassed about.
It’s also nothing to ignore.
If left unaddressed, a damaged tooth remains susceptible to infection, which will only grow more serious over time. The tooth’s nerve might die. An abscess could form. You might ultimately need root canal treatment to save the tooth—or need the dentist to extract it.
Dentists will decide exactly how to fix a broken tooth once they see exactly how the tooth is broken. Here are three common methods:
In dental bonding (composite bonding), the dentist first places a conditioning liquid on the damaged tooth, then applies and molds a putty to the compromised area. The dentist then uses ultraviolet light to harden the composite material. After the tooth bonding dries and hardens, the dentist polishes it to match the rest of the tooth.
Getting a crown can keep you from losing your tooth. If you don’t have a crown, you could further damage your tooth simply by chewing.
Each dental patient receives a custom-made crown. Your dentist acquires an impression of your tooth and sends it to the lab. While you wait for the permanent crown, the dentist places a temporary crown on the tooth. When the permanent crown is ready, the dentist attaches it.
A dental implant is a replacement for a natural tooth. When a crack in a tooth extends below the gum line, the tooth can’t be saved. You’ll need a tooth extraction accompanied by a dental implant.
Compared with dental bonding or getting crowns, a dental implant procedure is a longer process. The dentist must prepare the area by making a new root with biocompatible titanium screws. The dentist fixes these screws to the jawbone. The bone will fuse with the screws, creating a strong foundation for the implants.
Typically a few weeks after proper fusion, the dentist will make an impression of your tooth and place a crown. Your new tooth will look and function just like the natural tooth that was extracted.
Statistically, many people must think about how to fix a broken tooth. About 25% of school-age children have a broken or damaged tooth at some time. And research has found cracked teeth in around 80% in patients over 40 years of age.
There is a chance suffering from cracked or chipped teeth will happen. But you can do things to help keep your teeth safe.
Never underestimate brushing twice a day, for two minutes each time, with fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride remineralizes and strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to damage.
Daily flossing doesn’t remineralize enamel, but it removes food debris and plaque that cause tooth decay. Decaying teeth are weaker and thus more vulnerable to damage. The more you can do to fight tooth decay, the better.
In addition, some food and drink weaken tooth enamel. Reduce or avoid:
Don’t let budget concerns deter you from getting your cracked or chipped tooth fixed. The price you may pay for not visiting a dentist who knows how to fix a broken tooth may include infection or more complicated dental treatments.
As a teaching clinic for one of the nation’s leading dental medicine schools, PDM offers expert oral health care at affordable prices. We accept most dental insurance plans. If your plan doesn’t cover a specific procedure, we have financing options. We don’t want to see anyone suffer further health issues due to the price of necessary treatment.
To find out more about everything Penn Dental Medicine can do for you, download your free copy of our brochure, Comprehensive Care and You.
If you need to see someone who knows how to fix a broken tooth, please don’t delay. Schedule your appointment online now, or call us at 215-898-8965.