Suffering a broken tooth can be devastating. While the teeth are strong, they’re not indestructible and can break when subjected to trauma or significant force. Common causes of a broken tooth include biting down on hard food, severe decay that weakens the tooth structure, falling, or a blow to the face. Read on to learn how to fix a broken tooth and when to visit an emergency dentist.
When is a broken tooth a dental emergency?
A broken tooth isn’t necessarily a dental emergency unless the person is bleeding severely or in pain. However, it’s important to contact a dentist immediately after the accident to schedule an appointment. Visiting a dentist for evaluation is the only way of knowing the extent of the damage and the options for broken tooth repair.
Understanding dental emergencies
A dental emergency warrants immediate assistance from a medical professional. In most cases, this involves calling an emergency dentist for a same-day appointment. In other situations, it may involve a visit to the emergency dental department of your local hospital. This facility provides medical treatment for patients while waiting to be attended by a dentist.
So now you have a better understanding of when a broken tooth is a dental emergency, let’s look at how an emergency dentist can help with your broken tooth.
How to fix a broken tooth?
Remember, the role of an emergency dentist is to ease a patient’s pain or discomfort, so they feel more comfortable. The dentist will examine your tooth carefully and recommend the best course of action.
While there are many ways to fix a broken tooth, it’s likely the dentist will only have time to complete a temporary repair and will have to book you in for the next appointment for a dental procedure.
Here are 5 procedures that can repair a cracked or broken tooth
Dental bonding is a non-invasive procedure to repair hairline cracks, small chips, and broken teeth and does not require an anaesthetic. The dentist will roughen the tooth’s surface to help the composite material adhere. The resin is layered onto the tooth and shaped and moulded to resemble the surrounding teeth. The dentist shines a high-intensity light to harden the material before it is polished to a sheen. If you have broken a small piece of your tooth and brought it with you to the dentist, they can often bond it to the damaged tooth to restore it.
Crowns are generally recommended to repair a tooth that is badly cracked or broken and causes pain when chewing or drinking. A crown is a common restorative method for broken teeth and provides stability, strength, and protection. Crowns are typically fashioned from tooth-coloured porcelain for an invisible repair that blends seamlessly into the smile. Typically dental crowns require at least two dental appointments, although dental practices with CEREC technology can provide same-day crowns.
If a crack has extended into the pulp located at the tooth’s centre, our dentist may treat it with a root canal. This procedure involves removing any decayed tissue, taking out the nerve, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal and sealing it with a dental filling. At a later date, a crown may be used to protect and strengthen the weakened tooth. Ignoring a crack that has penetrated the tooth enamel can lead to infection or an extremely painful abscess that must be treated as a dental emergency.
Veneers are thin porcelain shells placed over the teeth’ front surface to hide minor chips and cracks. They are a cosmetic dental treatment that provides pleasing and attractive results but can be expensive. The veneers procedure involves removing a thin layer of tooth enamel so that the veneer sits flush within with the smile.
However, because enamel can’t regenerate itself, the procedure is permanent and cannot be reversed. Veneers typically involve an initial consultation and a minimum of two dental visits.
If your broken tooth has significant damage or has been knocked out of the mouth and can’t be saved, a dentist will likely recommend a dental implant to replace it. The damaged tooth must first be extracted before an implant can be placed. Dental implants act as replacement tooth roots and fuse with the bone in the jaw to become a permanent fixture in the mouth, like a natural tooth. A single dental implant supports a dental crown that replaces the damaged tooth. To get more information, click this link.
Do you have a broken tooth?
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of how to fix a broken tooth and when a broken tooth is considered a dental emergency. Whether you need an emergency dentist in Parkdale or want to discuss your best options for broken tooth repair, Synergy Dental Group is here for you. Call us on (03) 7003 2185 or use our online booking service.
Mouth Healthy.org – 5 reasons your smile is stronger than you think
Colgate: What is CEREC in dentistry?
Smiles.com.au: How much do veneers cost?