The enamel is the tough exterior covering of the tooth. Excessive wear and tear, a forceful fall or a blow can cause it to chip. The result is an uneven tooth surface that can be slightly visible, extremely disfigured, sharp, painful or tender.
When your tooth gets chipped, chances are, you won’t feel any pain unless the chip is big enough that it reaches the nerves in the inner layers of the root. If the nerves are exposed, you may experience a great deal of sensitivity when you’re chewing or consuming hot and cold foods and drinks. In this case, you’ll need either a crown or a dental inlay to fix the chipped tooth and prevent further damage.
If, on the other hand, your tooth is cracked, it may affect the tooth enamel alone or the entire tooth all the way to the root. You may feel pain from a cracked tooth when you chew or consume hot or cold foods and beverages.
In both of these cases, it’s very important to visit a professional dentist so that your tooth can be evaluated and treated as soon as possible.
What Causes Teeth to Crack?
The main causes of a broken or chipped tooth include:
- Cavities: Cavities are known to weaken the tooth enamel, leading to chips and tooth cracks.
- Bad bite: If you bite hard on things like ice cubes or hard candy, you may crack your teeth.
- Hard blow: Trauma to your jaw, such as being hit by a ball while playing, may lead to chipped or broken teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene: Poor hygiene can also lead to chipped teeth, especially if the tooth enamel is already weakened.
- Bruxism: Excessive grinding of teeth, commonly referred to as bruxism, is another major cause of broken and chipped teeth.
- Temperature changes: Sudden and unexpected changes in the temperature of the mouth can also cause cracks in your teeth.
How to Tell If You Have Cracked Teeth
Some accidents cause obvious injuries, but sometimes cracks can go unnoticed. A tooth can crack in many ways, whether it’s one small crack, multiple small cracks or a huge crack that divides your tooth or goes all the way to the root canal.
At Alpen Dental, we provide emergency broken or cracked tooth repair services because repairing your tooth as soon as possible is integral to maintaining the health of your mouth. If a minor chip isn’t treated promptly, it may lead to additional problems that will be harder to fix in the future.
Treatment Options for Broken or Chipped Teeth
Though it may be scary, a broken or chipped tooth is very easy to fix. In almost all cases, it can be repaired rather than removed. At Alpen Dental, we provide general dentistry services in Blackfalds and Rimbey, and we’ve seen a fair share of chipped and broken teeth in both kids and adults.
Here are the methods our Alpen Dental dentists use to fix broken, chipped and cracked teeth.
1. Dental Bonding
Dental bonding refers to the use of composite material to treat cases of tooth decay, discoloration and chipping. To fix a broken or chipped tooth with dental bonding, the dentist will first clean your tooth to make it easier for the bonding to stick to its surface. The bonding will then be applied carefully and moulded to mimic the shape of your tooth. UV light will be cast to harden the composite material, closing the crack. Once the material is dry and hard, it’ll be polished to look like the rest of the teeth.
2. Dental Veneers
If your tooth has a chip or cracks on the front side, the dentist will likely recommend fixing it with a dental veneer, which is a thinly shaped shell that covers the front part of the tooth to hide any cracks, chips or discoloration. Veneers work to restore the shape, colour and appearance of a tooth. Our Alpen Dental dentists at Blackfalds and Rimbey can fix veneers on as many teeth as you like in addition to the damaged one.
3. Dental Crown
If your tooth is badly chipped or cracked and can’t be fixed with bonding or veneers, our dentists will recommend dental crowns. A crown is like a cap that covers the whole tooth, thus improving the appearance and function of your tooth and restoring it to how it looked before. A crown will be custom-made from the mould impressions of your tooth. Then, the crown will be permanently attached to your tooth surface to restore its appearance. Without a dental crown, a badly cracked tooth may not withstand the force of chewing food.
4. Root Canal
In some cases, a crack that extends all the way to the root may give bacteria access to the dental pulp, leading to serious and life-threatening infections. There are two ways to treat a cracked or broken tooth that’s damaged to the nerves: a root canal or a tooth extraction.
With a root canal, the tooth is typically sealed off with a dental crown to prevent further damage. The crown will be fused to the jawbone permanently, and it will look and function just like normal teeth.
How to Protect Your Teeth From Cracking
While you can’t always prevent accidents from happening, you can take steps to protect your teeth from cracking:
- Wear a mouthguard when you’re playing sports to prevent accidental injuries.
- Adhere to proper oral hygiene practices, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing as often as possible.
- Visit the dentist at least twice a year for a professional checkup.
- Stay away from hard ice cubes, candy and similar foods.
Broken or Chipped Teeth Repair at Alpen Dental
If you’re worried that you may have broken, chipped or cracked teeth, we recommend that you visit a professional dentist as soon as you can. The general dentists at Alpen Dental use state-of-the-art equipment and highly advanced approaches to deliver reliable dental care services in the Blackfalds and Rimbey regions. Our main goal is to ensure your comfort, safety and personalized care.
To learn more about our broken and chipped teeth repair services, reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.