Despite the fact that tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can accidentally break, chip or crack. Crunching down on hard food, such as pork crackling, ice or candy, are the most common causes for a broken tooth. Enduring a hard fall or suffering a hit to the face or mouth can also lead to a cracked or broken tooth. If a tooth already has decay, much wear from tooth grinding or it is weakened by an old fillings the chances are that it will fracture more easily.
A broken or cracked tooth may not hurt at all, since it may have had a root canal treatment. However, pain is quite common when a tooth is broken or fractured and many appear while chewing food, as the chewing motion puts pressure on the broken segments of the tooth. Other sings that something is wrong, will probably be an increase in the sensitivity to hot or cold, since the nerve inside the tooth may have been damaged during the breakage or perhaps the trauma has left the nerve exposed. Left alone for a long period of time, the fractured area will allow bacteria to increase their access to the pulp, tooth canals and bone, leading to devastating destruction and the need to have the tooth removed.
I have listed here the common types of tooth fractures and the most likely treatment for each one:
Surface cracks to the tooth enamel are common, they are mostly caused by clenching and grinding or a hard diet. We at Tooronga Family Dentistry usually treat these minor with a simple polish to help smooth any noticeable rough spots.
A Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth has a high risk of breaking apart, if the crack is in a tooth with a present filling or a cavity, we at Tooronga Family Dentistry remove the old restoration and decay and restore the tooth to it’s previous shape and size. The new restoration is made of composite filling material which has the ability to hold the separated parts together.
If you have chipped your tooth, Dr. Kaufman Daniel will likely repair any damage with a composite filling to stop the chip from worsening. At times if the chips are very small and of no aesthetic significance we can polish the chipped area.
When a large part of the tooth comes off, it means that there are deep cracks running all the way to the nerve, which can cause you pain and sensitivity. In these events it is likely that a treatment called a root canal and a crown, will be needed.