Even though tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body, it isn’t indestructible. As a result, when teeth receive a blow, are placed under excess force or are weakened due to decay they are very likely to chip, crack or break. That’s the bad news…
The good news is that an emergency dentist can repair your broken tooth using a variety of options. So if you want to know how to fix a broken tooth or rather, how your dentist will repair the tooth, then read on…
First things first, if you experience a broken tooth it should be classed as a dental emergency and for this reason, you should contact your dentist right away. While a broken tooth may not always cause discomfort it will make the tooth more vulnerable to infections so when it comes to your teeth, time is most definitely of the essence.
How to fix a broken tooth – Your options explained
If a tooth has suffered slight chipping or cracking then an emergency dentist may decide that dental bonding is the best option. Dental bonding is a resin-like material that is applied to the surface of the tooth. When applied, it covers over any cracks or chips and is then hardened with a curing light. Once hard, the material is shaped, buffed and polished to resemble a life-like part of the tooth. When you call for an emergency dental appointment your emergency dentist should be able to fix the problem in one session.
Inlays and onlays
If you have a broken or fractured tooth particularly on the biting surface, then your chosen emergency dentist may suggest either inlays or onlays. So what’s the difference?
As the name suggests onlays cover the entire cusp (bite surface) of a tooth whereas inlays fill the area between the cusp. Either way, inlays and onlays can be used to restore a damaged tooth so you don’t need a crown.
As a dental emergency, inlays and onlays take two appointments. The first to take impressions and to make you comfortable and the second to fit your inlays or onlay.
When someone asks the question how to fix a broken tooth the answer will often come back ‘dental crowns.’ The reason for this is that dental crowns are one of the oldest and best ways to fix a broken tooth even to this day. Modern dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials such as porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) all-ceramic and all-porcelain.
Dental crowns cover the whole visible part of the tooth and are ideally suited when the overall structure or integrity of the broken tooth is poor. Placing a crown over the tooth prevents the need for dental emergency extractions and in doing so it effectively saves the tooth.
Root canal therapy
Sometimes when cracking or fracturing exposes the inner layer infection can get into the tooth chambers known as root canals. Unfortunately, this can be incredibly uncomfortable and is the reason why a root canal procedure is carried out.
A root canal effectively removes the dead tooth pulp and the infection from inside the tooth while maintaining its integral structure. In effect, root canal therapy not only gets you out of pain but also saves the tooth. Typically a crown is then placed over the tooth to protect it further.
So is root canal treatment considered a dental emergency?
In a word, yes! Once the infection gets into the tooth it can spread so it should be treated as a dental emergency. For this reason, whatever time of the day or night, you should speak to an emergency dentist if you suspect a root canal infection is taking hold.
While we do whatever we can to save a tooth there are times when that just isn’t possible. If the tooth has been badly broken or fractured, for example, and is beyond economical repair, or if the tooth has been knocked out completely, one of the best ways to restore a smile is to extract the tooth (where necessary) and fit a dental implant.
Again, when a tooth is broken or damaged to this extent it should be considered a dental emergency. Either way, your emergency dentist will work to first get you out of pain, extract any remaining fragments of tooth gently and fit a dental implant into the missing tooth site.
Dental implants are considered the gold standard of missing tooth replacement and are designed to last for many years. This is however the costliest of all emergency dental treatments for fixing a broken tooth but the results are outstanding and long-lasting.
Now you know how to fix a broken tooth and what you need to do. The main thing to remember when you experience a chipped, cracked or broken tooth is to do something about it fast. Usually, that means contacting an emergency dentist.
Here at Randwick Smiles, we provide emergency dental services in your time of need. Using the latest techniques and gentle dental care, we work to get you out of pain and restore your smile. Schedule a consultation with Dr Nick Messenger and his team today. Call us now on (02) 8188 4625.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.