How To Restore Teeth That Are Broken

Cosmetic Dentistry If you suspect you have a cracked or broken tooth, it’s important to see your cosmetic dentist right away. Why? Because broken teeth can cause problems on many levels – they not only mar the appearance of your smile, they can also negatively impact the way you bite and chew. Worst of all, if your cracked or broken tooth isn’t treated, you can develop an infection, an abscess or other serious dental conditions.

Depending on how serious the damage to your tooth is, your cosmetic dentist has an array of options to help repair the problem, and return you to full oral health.

Options for Fixing a Broken Tooth

1.       Dental composite. For minor chips and cracks, your cosmetic dentist may be able to apply tooth-colored resin composite to the area to fix it. He or she can roughen the broken part of the tooth, apply an adhesive, place the composite, then use an ultraviolet light to harden it.

2.       Porcelain veneers. If a front tooth is broken or chipped, a dental veneer can make it look whole and healthy again. The dentist will prepare the tooth by removing a tiny amount of tooth enamel, then install the veneer by etching the surface of the tooth with a liquid to roughen it. He or she will then apply a special cement to the veneer and place it on the prepared tooth.

3.      Crowns. One of the most common restorations for broken teeth, a crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a natural tooth. Permanent crowns are made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramic.

4.       Root canal. This procedure becomes necessary if the root of your broken tooth becomes infected. A root canal cleans out infected canals and seals them. A crown is usually placed on top of a tooth that has had a root canal to prevent re-infection from occurring.

5.       Dental implant. Some broken teeth become so badly compromised they cannot be saved – especially if a crack extends below the gum line. If that is the case, the natural tooth can be extracted, and a dental implant placed that will become anchored in a patient’s jaw and have a crown-like artificial tooth on top of the embedded part. Dental implants function exactly like natural teeth and are an excellent alternative to dentures or bridges.

“You don’t have to – and shouldn’t, for health and safety reasons – live with a broken tooth,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “There are many good treatment options to correct this situation.”

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