Maybe you were eating popcorn watching your favorite show or you were in an accident. Realizing that you’ve chipped, cracked or broke your tooth can be frightening. Fortunately, with today’s dental advancements, there are ways to repair your smile and maintain the health of your teeth, gums and mouth.
Although you can do your part to maintain your wellness through health checkups and routine eye exams, accidents do happen. Tooth enamel is one of the toughest tissues in the human body. But it still can be penetrated through age, trauma or chewing on hard items. Cavities and tooth decay can also weaken the structure and cause the tooth to crack or break. An excellent option to repair cracks or chips to the teeth in front of the mouth are through veneers. Using the thin porcelain shells, dentists can repair damage to just one single tooth or choose to restore their smile to the entire front of the mouth. Veneers can also improve teeth that have been stained and camouflage large spaces or gaps.
If you’re smile is far from perfect, you may ask, “What is cosmetic dentistry and how can it change my life?” Teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental implants and gingival recontouring are just a few ways to beautify your smile and correct problematic areas. Dental bonding is another method for treating a broken or chipped tooth. Depending on the extent of the damaged tooth, bonding can typically be completed in a single visit. Numbing agents or medications aren’t usually required as the procedure is painless. The area in question is etched to keep the bonding material secure and in place. The composite resin is placed onto the problematic area, so it blends naturally with the other teeth. Ultraviolet light completes the process and helps the material to harden.
Teeth are typically strong and resilient. But there are cases where a tooth can’t be salvaged such as in instances where a break extends past the gum line. To make room for the new, the damaged tooth will need to be extracted. Dental implants replace the missing tooth naturally and is known to be cavity proof and tough. They can also be matched to the other teeth in your mouth. The process begins with the surgical insertion of a titanium screw placed into the jawbone. Once the mouth has had time to heal, the dentist customizes the dental crown through an impression and adheres the tooth to the top of the screw. When done correctly, the permanent crown will function just like a natural tooth.
One of the most common restorative measures for a broken tooth that can be saved is a crown. Typically patients who experience difficulties chewing, drinking and pain are the prime candidates. Acting as a cap, a crown covers the damaged area and protects it for future use. It can also help improve the appearance of the cracked tooth. Once the tooth has been properly prepared, an impression is taken and sent to the dental lab to be manufactured. Until the crown is ready, your dental office may provide something temporary. When the permanent tooth comes in, it’s cemented to the tooth structure that remains in your mouth.
If the break is far reaching, you may need additional work such as a root canal. This process has been known to instill fear in patients. But with today’s advances, your dental team can clean out the decay and remove the nerve quickly and painlessly. If left untreated, you may be at risk for an infection, bone loss or other serious complications.
Normal wear and tear, accidents and hard foods are contributing factors to a chipped, broke or cracked tooth. No matter the cause, the above options are commonly used to repair teeth, so you can confidently show off your brilliant smile.