A broken tooth is a big deal. Not only does it affect your smile cosmetically, it’s a functional issue that could lead to bigger dental problems. Getting the emergency dental care you need right away is key, as is getting the right solution for your circumstances.
Contact Your Dentist Right Away If You Have a Broken Tooth
Every situation that involves a broken tooth is a big deal to the person experiencing it. When this problem occurs, you want to see your dentist right away to be evaluated for the severity of the broken tooth, whether it’s a front tooth or a molar. This helps prevent further problems from developing.
How the tooth was broken also matters. A blow to the mouth in a car accident, sporting match, or fistfight can produce far different damage – often under the surface as well as visibly – than biting down wrong on a piece of hard candy and snapping your enamel.
Solutions for a Broken Tooth
There are many possible ways to repair a broken tooth. The urgency of the situation, the severity of the break, and the location of the tooth will all factor into the restoration decision. Here are some of the options:
- Dental bonding: A surface break that doesn’t require any drilling to correct the problem makes dental bonding a viable cosmetic repair and a non-invasive, fast, and easy solution.
- Tooth-colored filling: A small break may seem like no big deal but any damaged enamel is an opportunity for food particles and bacteria to invade the tooth and cause a deep infection. A tooth-colored composite filling preserves as much of the natural tooth as possible and is strong and long-lasting.
- Dental crown: If a tooth is so damaged that it cannot be repaired by a filling, a crown is customized to cover and protect the entire tooth so it blends in with the rest of your smile.
- Inlay or onlay: When a crown is toot big of a restoration but a filling isn’t robust enough, an inlay or onlay can cover a broken tooth. Often known as a partial crown, these restorations stabilize tooth structure while beautifying the tooth.
- Extraction: Unfortunately, some teeth are so badly broken, all the way down to the root, that the tooth cannot be repaired and must be extracted to eliminate pain and prevent further complications. This is always a last resort as your dentist wants to do everything possible to save the natural tooth, but extraction isn’t the end of the world. The tooth is easily replace with a dental implant, dental bridge, or other restoration for a complete smile.
Adopt Preventive Measures
Some broken teeth are completely preventable. Avoid bad habits like crunching on ice, opening packages with your teeth, or otherwise using your teeth as a tool. But one of the biggest prevention measures is getting a nightguard if you grind and clench your teeth at night. Serious damage can occur on the surface of your teeth and under them if you put this kind of pressure on your teeth while sleeping. A mouthguard can protect you from a broken tooth and all sorts of dental problems. If you have a broken tooth, contact Smiles by the Sea in Hampton, NH, to schedule an emergency dental appointment.