Broken Tooth Restoration
Tooth fracture is an event that can happen to anyone at any age. In some cases, tooth fractures are painless and do not cause any problems and it only causes problems in beauty. In other cases, due to the pain of the broken tooth, repair of the broken tooth is considered a medical emergency and needs immediate treatment.
The tooth is made of 3 layers, enamel, dentin and pulp. The outer and upper layers are called enamel, which is the hardest material in the human body. Enamel is white and has a visible protective layer around the tooth. The underlying layer of enamel is a soft tissue called dentin, which forms a significant part of the tooth structure and it plays a protective role for the pulp of the tooth, including blood vessels and nerves. The lower part of the tooth is made up of roots located in the gums and jaw and is covered by cementum. Cementum is similar to enamel but slightly softer.
Causes of Tooth Fracture
- Car accidents
- Fall down
- Injuries in a variety of sports
- Striking of complex objects to the face
- Grinding and clenching of teeth together
- Biting of hard foods
- Tooth decay
- Extensive filling in the teeth
- Root canal
Symptoms of Fractured Tooth
- Feeling any sharp, uneven or jag on the tooth surface when the person touches the tooth by the tongue
- The feeling of an injured tongue
- Toothache while eating
- A sudden allergy to cold foods or drinks
- Tooth fragments are seen in the mouth or outside the mouth
Treatment of broken tooth injury before going to the dentist:
If a piece of your tooth falls out, try finding it and keeping it in milk or water to see a dentist. If you have a toothache, you can take painkillers before going to the dentist to relieve the pain. Rinse your mouth with normal saline. Avoid hard foods, and chew food with the other side of the broken tooth.
Sometimes a broken tooth is so sharp that it can injure the tongue or gums. Cover the tooth fracture with wax or gum to prevent these injuries.
Not to eat hot or cold foods. Eating cold and very hot food leads to pain.
Broken Tooth: Restoration Methods
If the fracture is very small, repairing a broken tooth includes rounding and shaping the sharp edges of the tooth and polishing it so that it is compatible with other teeth and the broken tooth looks natural in terms of beauty.
The dentist may repair the detached or broken part of the tooth and attach it to the tooth.
Filling and Bonding
If the tooth cannot be repaired by reattachment or deformation and the damage is slightly greater than expected, the first option for restoration is to fill the tooth. If you have only broken a small piece of enamel, your dentist may repair the damage by filling it. The dentist fixes cracked or broken teeth using restorative material. This material can be amalgam or composite or glass ionomer, etc. Then it is shaped by the dentist in line with other teeth.
If the repair is on the front tooth or can be seen when you smile, your dentist will likely use a procedure called bonding, which uses a tooth-coloured composite resin. Bonding is a simple procedure that typically does not require numbing the tooth. To bond a tooth, the dentist first etches its surface with a liquid or gel to roughen it and make the bonding material stick to it. Next, the dentist applies an adhesive material to the tooth followed by a tooth-coloured resin. After shaping the bonding material to look like a natural tooth, the dentist uses ultraviolet light to harden the material.
Dental veneers are usually used for damaged front teeth. This method is effective when the fracture is superficial, and the tooth root is not involved. Veneers are very thin shells or layers that attach to the front surface of teeth. Veneers are the most popular cosmetic, restorative solution for improving your smile. A veneer is a resin composite or tooth-coloured porcelain material placed on the whole front of the tooth. Dental laminate and composite veneer are two popular types of veneers that are used to correct the smile. To prepare your tooth, the dentist will remove some of the tooth enamel from its surface. To place the veneer, your dentist will first etch the tooth’s surface with a liquid to roughen it. Once the veneer is in position, your dentist will use a special light to activate chemicals in the cement to make it harden quickly.
A dental crown is a method of repairing a broken tooth that you have made specifically for each patient. Permanent crowns can be made of metal; porcelain fused to metal, all-resin or all-ceramic metals. All-metal crowns are much stronger. Porcelain and resin crowns are more like natural teeth. If the tooth’s root is still intact, your dentist may need to perform a root canal and build up the structure before adding a dental crown. A dental crown procedure usually takes only a couple of visits to the dentist’s office. First, they may take an x-ray to examine the surrounding bone and roots. If no issues are found, the dentist will numb the tooth area, remove some of the remaining teeth, and prepare the area for a crown. You may also need a filling to build up the tooth if there are large chips or breaks in the tooth. Then, an impression of your tooth will be made along with the opposing tooth you use to bite down. This will be sent to a lab where the crown will be made, taking about 2-3 weeks. During this time, the dentist makes a temporary crown and places it on the tooth.
Root canal therapy
If the fracture has progressed to the root of the tooth, bacteria from the mouth can enter and infect the pulp, so the broken tooth needs root canal therapy. The pulp is probably damaged if your tooth hurts, changes colour, or is sensitive to heat. The dentist cleans the area and cleans the inside of the tooth of infection to prevent tooth extraction. After RCT, dental crowns are usually used to avoid further fractures.
If your tooth cannot be saved, you may need to have a dental implant. A fractured tooth can’t be treated once the crack extends below the gum line. In this case, the dentist should extract the tooth. In this procedure, which is performed with surgery, titanium pins replace the broken tooth. Dental implants act as roots for an artificial tooth placed in your jawbone. In cases where there is not enough bone density in the jaw to perform the implant, the bone graft is performed before the implant treatment.
While doctors do not recommend home remedies for tooth fractures, there are ways you can protect your teeth and mouth. After a broken tooth, the American Dental Association (ADA) says you should rinse your mouth immediately with warm water and clean it. Apply pressure to prevent bleeding and apply ice packs to the area to prevent further swelling. If you find a piece of your tooth, wrap it in moist gauze and bring it with you to the dentist. If the tooth has popped out of your mouth, use a gauze pad and place it back into the socket but if you can’t get it into the socket, put the tooth in a glass of milk or water and try to see a dentist in less than 30 minutes.