BROKEN OR CHIPPED TEETH



BROKEN OR CHIPPED TEETH


Teeth can be broken or chipped for many reasons, it is always important to understand why this happened in the first place to prevent it from happening again. The main reasons we teeth break are either due to a clenching or grinding habit during sleep or due to the presence of a weak tooth which has already been filled. When a tooth has no filling, it is quite strong. When a cavity forms or filling is placed, it loses a significant amount of its structural integrity. For example, if a tooth has about 50% filling, it means that only 50% of the natural tooth is left, significantly weakening the remaining tooth and making it very vulnerable to breaking. Treatments for this is dependent on the size and location of the split. Worst case scenario means the only treatment option is to have the tooth removed, best case scenario may mean doing nothing and only smoothing the chipped section. Most of the time however, the treatment options are either to place a filling to replace the broken area, or to place a crown over the tooth (think of it like a helmet over the tooth) for extra protection to prevent it from breaking again. If you have had a tooth break, we will always assess the situation first to decide which options may be suitable or unsuitable, then allow you to decide what’s best for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Broken or Chipped Teeth
  • Broken tooth/Fractured tooth
Broken tooth/Fractured tooth

Although teeth are the strongest substance in the whole body, they may chip or break due to various reasons. Some of the most common reasons are biting into something hard accidentally, tooth with a large filling, root canal treated tooth that is not capped and tooth undermined due to decay.

What to expect

Depending on the extent of fracture your tooth may be sensitive to temperature and pressure changes. Rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm water. Take a pain reliever if needed. See your dentist as soon as possible so he can determine the course of treatment.

How is it treated?

Fractures may involve only the superficial outer part of the tooth (enamel). In such a case your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth the rough surfaces or place a filling and observe the tooth for further changes. If the fracture involves the enamel and the inner sensitive dentin your dentist may have to place a crown due to the extent of involvement. This will protect the tooth and prevent further damage. Sometimes fractures may involve the enamel, dentin and the nerve tissue inside the tooth. This will necessitate a root canal treatment and a crown. If the crack extends beyond the gum line it may require a crown lengthening procedure, which involves removal of bone to grasp enough healthy structure for the crown. However, if the crack extends to the root the tooth cannot be saved and will have to be removed.


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