Teeth do a lot of hard work over a lifetime and can be damaged when you chew something hard, if you grind your teeth at night or from a trauma such as from playing sport or some other accidental injury. A good dentist such as Candlewood Dental Centre will very likely be able to restore a damaged tooth, if it is not too badly damaged.
The main thing to remember is to seek treatment as soon as possible after the damage occurs, because once the tooth is damaged it is weakened and using it will only make the damage worse. Here are some ways the dentist may treat your damaged tooth, depending on how bad it is.
- Chipped tooth – this may not be painful, depending how big the chip is and where on the tooth it is located. Treatment will vary depending on which tooth is damaged. Front teeth are highly visible so the dentist will attempt to make the tooth look like normal again. He can do this by placing a dental veneer over the top of the tooth, or he may make a crown to replace the missing chip. It is not likely the chip that came off will be usable, so don’t worry about keeping it. Very often a chip can be replaced with a dental filling that is the same colour as the natural tooth and shaped to look like the rest of the tooth. If it’s a large chip, it might be necessary for a post to be inserted into the remaining tooth to help hold the new part on.
- Fractured tooth – a fractured tooth is usually more serious than a chipped one because the fracture can go right up into the root. The treatment for a fracture includes making a crown that covers the whole surface of the tooth. This will prevent food and bacteria getting into the crack and causing infection and decay. It will also protect the inside parts of the tooth from infection. An impression of the tooth is made and sent to a dental laboratory, where the permanent crown will be made. Most crowns last for at least 15 years.
- Cracked or broken tooth – this can be treated with a dental veneer to restore the look of a tooth. They cover the front of the tooth only, rather than the whole surface like a crown does. Some veneers don’t require the tooth to be altered in any way.
- Badly cracked tooth – if the crack in the tooth goes right up into the root, it might be necessary to have a root canal treatment. This removes nerve tissue that has been damaged or destroyed. Once it is removed the hollow in the tooth will need to be filled and sealed off to prevent infection or abscess forming.