A chipped, broken, or cracked tooth can be a painful and distressing experience. It can affect not only the appearance of your smile but also your ability to eat and speak comfortably.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to restore a damaged tooth. In this article, we will explore the most common causes of chipped, broken, and cracked teeth and the treatment options available.
Common Causes of Chipped, Broken, and Cracked Teeth
If you suspect you have a chipped, broken, or cracked tooth, don’t worry. Chipped and broken teeth are some of the most common dental injuries. Some of the common causes of chipped, broken, and cracked teeth are:
- Trauma or injury: Accidents, falls, and sports injuries can cause chips, cracks, and breaks in the teeth.
- Biting down on hard objects: Chewing on ice, hard sweets, or other hard objects can cause teeth to crack or break.
- Teeth grinding or clenching: Habitual teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, can wear down teeth and make them more prone to cracks and chips.
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay weakens the enamel, making teeth more susceptible to chipping and cracking.
We are also more susceptible to teeth chips, breaks, or cracks when we have had large dental fillings, as these weaken the tooth’s structure.
It’s also important to note that poor dental hygiene (e.g., neglecting regular dental checkups and cleanings) can lead to decay, gum disease, and other issues that can weaken teeth and increase the risk of chips and cracks.
Signs of a Damaged Tooth
If you suspect you have chipped, broken, or cracked a tooth, the first thing to do is to look out for the symptoms. The key signs to look out for are:
PAIN: Look out for pain when you bite down or when the damaged tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
SENSITIVITY: The tooth may be sensitive to extreme temperatures or sweet, sour, or acidic foods.
IT FEELS JAGGED: Run your tongue over the tooth you suspect to be damaged – if it’s jagged, you may have cracked, broken, or chipped it.
The treatment options for damaged teeth depend on the extent of the damage and the location of the damaged tooth. For example, a chipped front tooth may cost more to repair than a back tooth because it is more visible and therefore requires more attention to aesthetics.
Composite bonding is a simple and non-invasive procedure and a popular treatment option for repairing a chipped tooth. It’s best for small to moderate chips. You can find out more about composite bonding at Oriel Villas in our article: Composite Bonding.
Dental veneers are a common treatment method for more significant tooth damage, such as when repairing a broken tooth, cracked tooth, or severe chip. A dentist may also recommend a dental veneer to improve the appearance of a chipped front tooth. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain custom-made to fit over the front of the tooth, covering the chipped area.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that dentists place over a broken tooth to restore its shape, strength, and function. The crown is custom-made to fit over the remaining tooth structure and is then cemented in place. Crowns are typically used for more extensive chips or when the tooth has sustained significant damage.
If a chip, break, or crack has caused damage to the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary to remove the damaged tissue and prevent infection. After a root canal, the dentist usually places a crown over the tooth to protect it.
Extraction may be necessary if you experience a severe tooth break where the dentist can’t repair the tooth. This is usually a last resort; the dentist will replace the tooth with a dental implant or bridge.
Tooth Repair at Oriel Villas
From simple composite bonding to more complex procedures like root canals or crowns, the team of qualified dentists at Oriel Villas can help determine the best course of action and repair your tooth quickly and efficiently. Get in contact today.