Broken teeth or even a cracked tooth are both a cosmetic and health concern that require immediate attention. The longer you go without treating a cracked or chipped tooth, the worse things can become. And it goes beyond just the appearance of the tooth. Compromised teeth often end up leading to severe symptoms like sensitivity to extreme temperatures or even constant, throbbing pain. If you or someone you know should ever break a tooth, you’ll need to know what to do to deal with this type of emergency.
Having a broken or cracked tooth heightens your risk of experiencing an oral infection or abscess with every passing day. Just eating or drinking something increases the risk of developing a severe infection with every bite or sip.
The food particles and bacteria that were once held outside of the tooth may now have unimpeded access to its inner parts, which could threaten the loss of the tooth or result in the need for a treatment like a root canal. In the worst-case scenario, the tooth may require extraction.
Chipped Tooth or Cracked Tooth
Hopefully, you have only chipped your tooth or have a cracked tooth. In this case, something as simple as dental bonding or a dental veneer may be able to cover up the chip and make it look as if nothing had happened at all.
Dental bonding involves the application of a composite resin directly to the affected tooth, like a cracked tooth. Bonding is also good for correcting teeth that are discolored. Properly cared for, dental bonding should last for 10 years or more.
A porcelain veneer is a wafer-thin shell of porcelain material that can be placed over a chipped or cracked tooth.
Porcelain matches the color of surrounding teeth, so no one will know that anything happened to the tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
If a broken tooth results in severe tooth decay, a root canal procedure may be necessary. This is when your dentist will drill into the tooth to access its inner parts, removing all of the tooth decay. They would then fill in the resulting empty space using what is known as gutta-percha. Normally, a root canal-treated tooth would then receive a dental crown to protect it.
In some cases, a broken tooth cannot be saved. For example, if it broke near the gum line. Although your dentist will do everything that they can to save your natural tooth, a dental implant is an excellent type of restoration for a missing tooth.
Getting a dental implant means having a metal post implanted within the jawbone to anchor it. An abutment is then placed over the post at a subsequent appointment, followed by the placement of a dental crown to provide the look, feel, and function of a normal tooth.