Accidents are the main culprit when it comes to broken teeth, even the strongest teeth will probably crack or fracture at some point. Biting hard food commonly leads to breakages, as well as injuries to the face and mouth. It’s easier than you would think to damage a tooth, because although they are structurally strong, they aren’t designed to withstand heavy impact from the sides, or too much pressure when biting down – if a piece of food is just too hard, something’s got to give.
Fractures to teeth come in all shapes and sizes, some are predictably worse than others. Surface cracks are far more common than you would think, in fact most of us probably have several in our back teeth – the ones which crunch the most – they are usually painless and don’t require any treatment. Although they are worth keeping an eye on to make sure they don’t get out of control. A chip is similar to surface damage in that they only tend to affect the outer enamel of the tooth, it doesn’t lead to decay and will only lead to surgery if the patient doesn’t like the look of it. Filling chips and cracks doesn’t usually require a large amount of invasive procedure if there is no decay or infection at all, a little filler or bonding material will quickly do the trick.
If you break your tooth really badly and the nerves are exposed as a result, you will know about it. Unlike surface cracks or painless chips, broken teeth are likely to bleed and cause immediate pain. A root canal is the generally accepted procedure for solving this problem; this involves removing the exposed area and capping the tooth to protect it from further damage. Splitting a tooth can also cause a lot of pain, this means the crown of the tooth is broken as well as the roots, and without treatment this can lead to infection and a whole host of other problems. In some cases it is possible to save the affected tooth with a dental crown, but if there is infection present or a split root, it’s better to have it removed altogether.
As with many other dental issues, it’s best to make an appointment quickly before your condition worsens. If you’re in severe pain or you need some cosmetic treatment immediately, you know you need to get to the dentist as soon as possible. At the Pearl Dental Clinic, there are several ways in which dentists can help you with broken or split teeth, the most common of which is to simply crown the tooth, this keeps the tooth together and shields it against further impact. However, if the area has become infected, more surgery is needed -usually in the form of a root canal.
After a root canal has been performed, the tooth is essentially dead, as the nerve endings and blood supply have been scraped out. In these cases, the tooth itself can be preserved for cosmetic purposes and to eliminate the need for an extraction. The dentist can fill in the space left by the nerves and then cover the tooth with a cap or crown so it appears flawless. If you find that the roots have split as well as the outer shell, the dentist will be left with no option but to remove the offending tooth, in order to protect infection setting and affecting the rest of the teeth.