Did you know that problems related to cracked teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss after cavities and periodontal disease? For this reason, getting a cracked tooth repaired as quickly as possible is crucial, which leads us nicely into how to fix a cracked tooth and when it is a dental emergency.
When to visit an emergency dentist
Fortunately, not every cracked tooth is a dental emergency. For example, most people can wait for the next available appointment for conditions such as sensitivity or toothache. Meanwhile, over-the-counter painkillers will provide temporary relief. Often, it’s unclear what comprises a dental emergency. A broken tooth falls into this category, and with the information below, patients can determine whether or not their tooth needs immediate attention.
Understanding dental emergencies
A dental emergency is a condition that requires immediate attention from a dental professional. In most cases, this involves calling an emergency dentist for a same-day appointment.
Deciding when to seek emergency treatment
Minor cracks or tooth fractures don’t require a visit to an emergency dentist because they do not pose an immediate threat to an individual’s health and well-being. However, when a sizeable chunk of a tooth is gone, you have a dental emergency. In this scenario, the tooth is likely to be causing intense pain and sometimes bleeding, and immediate attention is essential.
So, now you have a better understanding of what situations warrant a dental emergency and when to visit an emergency dentist, let’s look at ways of fixing the damage.
How to fix a cracked tooth
Composite bonding is the cheapest and quickest way to fix chipped or cracked teeth and can usually be completed in a single dental visit. Tooth-coloured composite is layered onto the tooth enamel to cover the defect, smoothed and hardened with a high-intensity light to create a smooth new surface and a repair that fits seamlessly into the smile.
Veneers are thin covers for the teeth designed to cosmetically enhance a tooth that is chipped, cracked, or discoloured. At Synergy Dental, we provide porcelain veneers that produce stunning and realistic results. Studies show that porcelain veneers can maintain their aesthetic appearance after 10 years of wear and have the potential to last longer with good oral care.
Composite veneers produce similar results but are not as durable and will need replacement around the 5-7 year mark. To place a porcelain veneer, the dentist removes a thin layer of tooth enamel to make room for the veneer so it fits flush within the smile.
An impression is taken of the prepared tooth to create a custom veneer which is then bonded to the tooth’s front surface.
Typically veneers require two dental visits.
Anyone wondering how to fix a cracked tooth may already know crowns are one of the most common restorative treatments. A dental crown is a cap that covers the entire visible portion of the tooth to protect and improve its appearance. Getting a crown prevents a person from losing their tooth. Without a crown, a broken or heavily cracked tooth wouldn’t be able to withstand the pressure of chewing.
The procedure for a dental crown involves filing down the top and sides of the affected tooth to accommodate the crown, taking an impression and waiting for the custom crown to come back from the lab. Crowns can take several weeks to complete, although CEREC technology offered by some dentists creates same-day crowns.
A root canal typically falls under the category of a dental emergency. Pain from an infected canal can be excruciating and cause severe complications, which is why a visit to an emergency dentist for urgent treatment is required. Essentially, a root canal relieves pain, eliminates the infection, and saves the tooth from extraction.
If a crack in your tooth extends beneath the gum line, it’s impossible to treat, and the tooth will require extraction. A dental implant is the best way of replacing an extracted tooth because it looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. However, because the procedure comprises multiple steps, the treatment can take several months to complete. Click here.
Hopefully, this article has answered how to fix a cracked tooth and explained when it is a dental emergency.
Do you need an emergency dentist?
If you’re unsure if you have a dental emergency, why not give our friendly team a call and describe your situation? We provide same-day emergency dental care when needed or can schedule you for the next appointment.
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