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Crowns, Fillings, and Bridges: A Guide to Treatment Options for a Broken Tooth
Crunching ice or biting hard candies can lead to a broken tooth. Aside from biting down on something hard, teeth may also break as a result of being hit in the face or mouth or due to large cavities. Regardless of the cause, a dental visit is needed as soon as possible. There are several treatment options that your dentist can recommend for broken teeth.
Common treatment options for a broken tooth
Treatment for a chipped or broken tooth depends mainly on how severely the tooth is damaged. If a small piece of enamel breaks off, the repair can often be done in one office visit. A tooth that is badly damaged or broken may require a more lengthy procedure. Here are some of the ways a dentist can repair a chipped or broken tooth.
If a tooth has a lot of decay or a large piece of the tooth breaks off, the dentist may file or grind away part of the remaining tooth. It will then be covered with a dental crown or a tooth-shaped cap. This will help to protect the tooth and improve its appearance. Permanent crowns can be made from porcelain fused to metal, metal, all-ceramic or all-resin.
The different types of crowns have different benefits. Porcelain and resin dental crowns are usually popular because they can be made to look nearly identical to the original tooth. All-metal crowns are also common. These crowns are the strongest.
If the entire top of a person’s tooth is broken off but the tooth root is still intact, an endodontist or dentist may perform root canal therapy. A pin or post may be placed in the canal. It may then build up enough of a structure onto which a dental crown can be made. Later on, the dentist can cement the dental crown over the post or pin-retained restoration.
Fillings and bridges
If a person has chipped off only a small piece of tooth enamel, the dentist may opt to repair the damage with a dental filling. This may help prevent it from getting worse or it can make the tooth look and feel better. In some cases, cracks can be repaired with filling material. The tooth, many times, may need a dental crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. A root canal may also be needed if the pulp is damaged.
If a tooth is broken at the gumline, it may be difficult to save it. In such a case, the root of the tooth may need to be removed. Once the root has been removed and the gum has healed, a replacement tooth may be considered. Depending on the broken tooth, a bridge may be an option.
If you have chipped or broken a tooth, you should not panic. There are many treatment options including fillings, crowns and bridges that can fix it. But you should always see your dentist either right away or as soon as it is convenient. This should depend on how badly the tooth is broken.
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