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Broken Tooth Repair – Your Treatment Options Explained

Even though your teeth are exceptionally tough and covered by one of the strongest tissues in the human body, it doesn’t mean they can’t be damaged. Biting down on something unexpectedly hard or suffering an accident or sports injury can cause a tooth to chip or break, particularly if it is already decayed or has been repeatedly filled.  

A broken tooth can happen to anyone, but what should you do if it happens to you? This article explains how to alleviate the pain and your broken tooth repair options such as dental crowns, dental bonding, and so much more. 

Breaking a tooth can be extremely painful, and there’s no permanent way of fixing it without visiting a dentist. Cracking, breaking or knocking out a tooth is always considered a dental emergency. 

 

Broken tooth repair – Speed is of the essence

It’s essential to visit a dentist as soon as you can after noticing a chipped or broken tooth to avoid long-term dental issues.

Early attention will help prevent infection or further damage to the tooth, which may require a tooth extraction in extreme conditions. 

Meanwhile, here are a few things you can do to alleviate the pain and protect your tooth and mouth before getting to see a dentist. 

 

What to do after breaking a tooth? 

If you crack or break a tooth, you should rinse your mouth right away with warm water to clean it.

tooth broken crowns treatment sydneyThen using a piece of clean gauze, apply pressure to the area to stem any bleeding. A cold compress can also be applied to the appropriate side of the face to reduce swelling.

If you can locate the broken tooth pieces, wrap them in a clean wet cloth and bring them to the dentist with you. Pain can also be relieved with painkillers you may have in your medicine cabinet, such as Ibuprofen. 

If the broken tooth has a jagged or sharp edge, cover it with sugar-free chewing gum to protect your tongue and cheeks from injury. Try to avoid eating, but if you feel the need, stick to soft food and eat on the side of the mouth opposite the broken tooth. 

 

Broken tooth repair diagnosis

According to a 2015 report published in the European Journal of Dentistry, the molars of the lower jaw are the most common to break. However, any tooth can break and suffer injuries ranging from slight cosmetic damage to severe injuries. Deep cracks can run down from the root or from the tooth’s centre to the pulp chamber that contains a network of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

Our No Gaps dentist provides various treatment options depending on the severity of the damage. 

The damage isn’t always visible, and cracks may be hidden inside the tooth or below the gum. Some chips and cracks have no symptoms or symptoms that could be confused for sensitivity, cavities or periodontal disease.

Typically, the broader or deeper the damage, the more extensive the treatment will be. Our dentist will perform a bite test, examine the tooth with or without a magnifying glass, or use a dental x-ray to assess the extent of the damage. 

 

 

Possible broken tooth repair treatments include

  • Bonding – best for slight chips and cracks and can be completed in a single dental visit
  • Inlays and onlays an alternative to a dental crown (usually requires two appointments) 
  • Root canal therapy – necessary when pulp in the centre of the tooth has become infected due to trauma or injury. A root canal saves the tooth, which is then further protected with a dental crown
  • Dental implants – when a broken tooth is beyond economical repair 

If your tooth is badly damaged or broken, our dentists may instead choose to restore it with a dental crown.

 

What is a dental crown?

Dental crowns are covers or caps that encase the tooth’s visible part from its top to the gumline, restoring aesthetics and function. A dental crown covers a broken tooth to protect it from harmful bacteria and other things that cause pain like cold, heat, acid, sugar and pressure. 

tooth crowns repair broken teeth sydneyModern-day dental crowns are made from various materials such as all-ceramic, all-porcelain and porcelain fused to metal. They are one of the most versatile treatments in dentistry and can be used for:

  • Protecting a weakened tooth to prevent it from breaking (possibly due to decay) or to keep weak parts together if the tooth is cracked
  • Covering a tooth following root canal therapy
  • Restoring a badly worn down or broken tooth
  • Covering a tooth with a large filling and very little natural tooth structure
  • Covering a dental implant 

Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes to conceal stained or discoloured teeth or to alter the shape, colour and size of unsightly teeth. 

 

How is a tooth prepared for a dental crown?

Traditional dental crowns take at least two dental visits with several weeks in between waiting for the dental lab to create the custom crown. However, at No Gap Dental, we use CEREC technology to provide our patients with customised crowns in a single dental visit

The broken tooth is prepared in the same way as a traditional dental crown by filing down the enamel to accommodate it. Then a digital impression is taken and sent directly to the in-house computer that designs the dental crown. The data is then fed into the milling machine that creates a crown from porcelain while the patient waits. Once crafted, the dentist fits the dental crown, and the patient is free to leave. 

So there you have it – broken tooth repair carried out in one appointment with a CEREC dental crown at No Gaps Dental. 

Want to learn more about dental crowns and other broken tooth repair options? Why not schedule a consultation with a No Gaps dentist near you or call us on (02) 8806 0227 today. 

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

 

 

References

Healthline – What is the Hardest Substance in the Human Body
https://www.healthline.com/health/hardest-substance-in-the-human-body

Mouth Healthy – Dental Emergencies
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/dental-emergencies

Healthline – Everything You Need to Know About Using A Cold Compress
https://www.healthline.com/health/make-cold-compress

PubMed – Cracked Tooth Diagnosis and Treatment: An Alternative Paradigm
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26038667/

Animated Teeth.com – Types of Dental Crowns
https://www.animated-teeth.com/dental_crowns/t6_dental_crowns_types.htm

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