A fractured tooth can be painful. Plus, it's scary when you don't know what will happen to your tooth. You should see a dentist as soon as you can, even if you're not having pain yet. A fractured tooth usually gets worse, and if it gets bad enough, you may lose your tooth and need an implant. Here are some ways to deal with cracks and chips in teeth.
Chips Can Be Filled Or Covered
If the tip of your tooth fractures and chips off, the problem may only be cosmetic. Treatment may not be needed, but you may not like a chipped tooth ruining your smile. Your dentist might be able to repair your tooth by bonding material to it to fill in the chip or by covering the chip with a veneer. If the chip is small, your dentist might just file it to smooth out the tip of your tooth and make the chip disappear.
Thin Cracks Might Be Polished Out
Thin crack lines that don't break the enamel are also cosmetic issues that may not need treatment. However, your dentist might repair your tooth by polishing the surface to eliminate the cracks. This can only be done with surface cracks and not deep ones that need more extensive treatment.
Bad Fractures May Require An Extraction
Cracks in teeth may involve the enamel only, or the crack may extend under the gums. Generally, a tooth with a crack that goes below the gums can't be saved. Instead, the dentist will probably pull the tooth and then recommend replacing it with an implant and crown.
A bad crack that stops short of the gum might be possible to repair so your tooth can be saved. The dentist may treat the crack like a big cavity and put a crown over your tooth to enclose the crack. These cracks often happen around fillings and don't cause damage to the pulp of your tooth.
If a crack damages the pulp or if a crack becomes infected and causes an abscess, your dentist may need to do a root canal before putting a crown over the tooth.
The type of dental treatment you need for a fractured tooth depends on how badly the fracture damages your enamel, pulp, and root. Cracks in teeth don't heal in the same way bones too. For that reason, your dentist may recommend pulling the tooth and replacing it with an implant. You can decide with advice from your dentist if it's worth trying to save the tooth or if you'll have it pulled.
For more information, contact a local dental business, like Dental Clinic of Onalaska.