Treatment of a broken tooth will depend on how badly it has been damaged. If only a small piece of the enamel has broken off, it can usually be repaired using a composite filling which is a tooth colored material. A badly broken tooth may require a more lengthy and costly procedure.
If a large piece of the tooth has broken off, or if the tooth already has a large filling or large amount of decay, a dental crown or “cap” will likely be recommended. A crown will help protect the tooth from further damage and breaking. If a tooth breaks severely and the root is exposed a root canal will likely be called for and then a crown on the tooth. If a large piece of the tooth has broken away, the dentist will build up the tooth with a strong material, and sometimes place a small pin in the tooth to give it further strength. The crown will then go over the top of this build-up material.
Treating a cracked tooth is similar to treating a broken tooth. Ultimately the proper procedure will depend on how extensive the fracture is. If the fracture does not extend down into the root of the tooth, then there is a good chance the tooth can be saved. Most commonly, a crown is the best treatment for a cracked tooth. It will cover the entire tooth and “hold it together”, keeping the fracture from flexing and eventually extending further into the root of a tooth. If the fracture goes down through the tooth, under the gum line and into the root, there is often nothing that can be done, except extracting the tooth. There are no procedures to repair a tooth that has fracture through the root. At this point, the repair will be to extract the tooth and then decisions will need to be made about replacing the tooth. The most likely options in this case will be a bridge or implant.
What Should I Do If My Tooth is Cracked, Chipped, or Broken?
If you break or fracture a tooth, you need to contact your Primary Dental Wheat Ridge dentist as soon as possible, even if it seems to be only a minor break. If the break is not repaired a quickly as possible, then it will, at some point require much more involved treatment. The tooth can become infected and require a root canal, or break further causing more damage and more extensive treatment, and ultimately even the loss of a tooth.