General Dentistry » Broken Teeth
Human teeth are made up of four primary tissues; enamel, dentin, cementum, and tooth pulp.
Enamel, which forms the visible outer layer of the tooth, is the hardest substance in the human body. Despite this fact, broken teeth, teeth fracture, chipped teeth are not uncommon phenomena.
A broken tooth can range from minor chips to complete fracture of the teeth. It can be a very stressful and painful condition if the nerve roots are affected in any way. Tooth nerve pain is one of the worst kinds of pain you'll ever encounter.
What are the causes of a cracked tooth or broken tooth?
There is a bounty of conditions that can lead to a cracked tooth with dental trauma being the most common cause.
Other common broken teeth causes include:
- Chewing hard substances.
- Facial trauma
- Chronic tooth decay makes the tooth fragile and brittle and hence can easily lead to chips or breaks, even fracture
- Old amalgam fillings, which make the teeth brittle after a long duration of use
What is dental trauma?
Dental trauma basically refers to any injury to the teeth or its surrounding hard structures, i.e., gums, periodontal ligament, alveolar bone or soft tissues like lips, tongue, etc
Dental trauma can be a result of blunt trauma or road traffic accidents.
What are the types of a dental trauma?
Dental trauma can be superficial involving the enamel, or it may involve the deeper structures as well. It can be of the following types
- Enamel infarction- These are very tiny cracks on the surface of enamel that can be visualised more clearly on transillumination.
It commonly occurs in old age or can be iatrogenically introduced during instrumentation.
- Enamel Fracture/ Chip- It involves the complete fracture of dental enamel without the involvement of underlying dentin or tooth pulp. It occurs when a brittle tooth comes in contact with a hard object producing enough pressure to generate a crack.
- Enamel-Dentine Fracture- It involves the complete fracture of dental enamel and dentine without the exposure or involvement of dental pulp.
- Enamel-Dentine Fracture along with Pulp Exposure- When the enamel and dentine are brutally broken, the underlying tooth pulp is exposed. The involvement of pulp and pulp health is confirmed by pulp sensitivity testing.
- Root Fracture- This is a type of fracture of dental cementum along with the involvement of tooth pulp. It commonly occurs in the middle 1/3rd. Root treated teeth subsequent to tooth decay are more prone to root fracture.
Root fracture can be horizontal or vertical, where the fracture line runs transverse or longitudinal, respectively.
What is cracked tooth syndrome?
It is a condition where the tooth is partially broken with unknown depth and particularly involves posterior teeth hence also known as an incompletely cracked molar or split tooth syndrome.
Sharp pain that occurs while biting, chewing, drinking hot/cold, and during dental movements is the most profound symptom.
How to care for a broken tooth?
If, by any chance, you have developed a crack, chip, or fracture in your tooth and are experiencing pain, then for tooth pain relief, you can take paracetamol over the counter and visit your dentist as soon as possible for broken tooth repair.
Avoid eating anything or rubbing your broken tooth against the tongue. It may cause lacerations over the tongue mucosa.
Never try removing broken teeth on your own. If any portion of the teeth is available, preserve it and take it along when you go to your dentist.
How to fix broken teeth?
If you're wondering how dentists fix broken teeth or do they replace broken teeth?
Well, the treatment modality primarily depends on the severity and type of injury and extent of tooth involved.
Also, minor cracks may be asymptomatic, and thorough clinic-diagnostic tests would be required to identify them.
The next step would be to identify which tooth requires treatment and which doesn't.
For emergency toothache relief, patients are provided with analgesics, and then further treatment is carried out. If there is excessive blood loss, then maintaining haemostasis should be the primary concern.
Some of the methods of fixing broken teeth are:
- Dental Filling or Bonding- Fillings are the ideal way of treating a broken tooth where a silver amalgam is used to fill in the gaps or cavities in the tooth. Nowadays, composite fillings or the tooth coloured/white fillings are becoming more famous as they provide natural restoration to your tooth.
If the chip is present on the front tooth, then your dentist will perform a procedure known as bonding to repair the visible surface. Bonding is the most common way of front chipped tooth repair.
- Dental Crown- If a major part of teeth is broken off, then our dentist will remove the entire affected part, fill it with a composite material and place a dental crown, commonly known as teeth caps, over your tooth to help in the restoration of its function and structure. The dental crowns provide a platform to prevent the spillage of the filling material.
- Dental Veneers- A dental veneer is a thin shell made up of porcelain that is used most commonly in the repair of the chips of the front tooth.
- Root Canal Therapy- Fractures in which there are broken teeth roots or the dental pulp is exposed, our dentist will perform a root canal treatment, where the tooth pulp is removed and filled with a material called gutta-percha to compensate for the lost dental pulp. Initially, a temporary tooth filling is used to let the teeth stabilise, which is fixed and hardened on subsequent visits.
- Tooth Extraction and Implant Placement- If the crack is very extensive and even a root canal cannot save the teeth, in that case, tooth removal is the ultimate resort. In tooth extraction, the tooth is removed from its alveolar socket, and a prosthetic tooth is placed in order to compensate for its function.
Tooth extraction healing time will depend on the blood circulation of your body that provides any wound with the oxygen required for healing.
Dental extraction can be simple or surgical, depending on the extension of the crack.
If you are looking for a dentist that fixes broken teeth, then we at Conway House offer you the best service for repairing, and if required, replacing the fractured teeth.
We are a team of highly professional dentists in High Wycombe whose primary aim is to give you healthy teeth.
If you have a molar teeth broken, need a cracked tooth repair, or in search of toothache relief, Conway House is the one-stop destination for all your dental troubles.
We will provide you with world-class services and a comfortable environment. Our highly skilled staff will take the utmost care of your comfort. Do visit us and allow us to serve you and provide you with happy and healthy teeth.