Despite the strength of teeth, it is still possible for a tooth to break. A broken tooth can be the result of biting something hard, trauma to the mouth or face such as being hit or falling, having a cavity that weakens the tooth to the point of breaking, or having an old filling that is incapable of continued support of existing tooth enamel. However, regardless of how a tooth is cracked or broken, it is incredibly important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Your Mequon dentist can determine whether the tooth was damaged due to a cavity as well as assess the danger to the tooth’s nerve.
Types of Broken Teeth
- Chips: Although minor chips do not always require treatment, a dentist may suggest repairing the chip in order to prevent further damage. Cosmetic dentistry can also help the tooth look better, and this can be accomplished in small chips by smoothing out and polishing the affected area. Additionally, surface cracks that only affect the outermost enamel of a tooth may be fixed in a similar manner.
- Cracked tooth: When a tooth fracture involves the entire tooth, typically the pieces of the tooth will remain in place. However, over time, the crack will continue to grow, gradually spreading and getting worse. To avoid damage to the nerve, a cracked tooth will require repair involving a sealant. In the event that there has been damage to the nerve, it is possible that a root canal will be required.
- Deep breaks: If a tooth breaks deep enough to expose the nerve, it will almost always cause pain and be extremely sensitive. In these instances, the broken part of the tooth will likely bleed. A root canal will be necessary in order to treat the exposed nerve while a dental crown will probably be necessary so that tooth function can return to normal.
- Split tooth: Occasionally, a deep break can cause a tooth to split vertically into two parts. While molars have more than one root which means they can be covered with a crown, other teeth may require a root canal procedure first. In some severe cases, it will not be possible to save the root and the tooth will have to be removed. In this instance, the next step could include dental implants.
- Cavity breaks: Although many broken teeth are often caused by external traumas such as biting into something hard or being hit in the mouth, some breaks are caused by cavities. Essentially, a cavity will weaken a tooth from the inside, and the resulting decay allows a tooth to be become broken. A dentist will be able to determine the best way to restore the tooth. However, if the decay is affecting the bone, the tooth might have to be removed entirely.
If you have a cracked tooth in Mequon, it is important to schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Additionally, a cosmetic dentist will be able to help save your smile from chipped or broken teeth. Contact Dr. Dale Rottman at Successful Smiles online today to see how we can help.