The importance of restoring a chipped or cracked tooth

May 28, 2021

Did you know that a fractured tooth is susceptible to decay? Most people who seek chipped or broken tooth treatment may be interested in the cosmetic impact; however, treatment can also restore a tooth’s function. This is because a tooth becomes weak when its structure is compromised, highlighting the importance of restorative dentistry in Calgary.

By fixing a chipped or broken tooth as soon as possible, you can prevent more serious dental issues down the road. This article details the different types of tooth fractures and your options for chipped or broken tooth treatment.

Chipped tooth

The types of tooth fractures

There are five different types of tooth fractures to be aware of:

  1. Craze lines - These are small cracks in the enamel, the outermost protective layer of the tooth. They typically cause no pain or oral health issues and don’t require any treatment.
  2. Fractured cusp - The tooth’s chewing surface has peaks and valleys that are referred to as cusps. When one of these breaks off, it generally doesn’t cause pain but can weaken the tooth.
  3. Cracked tooth - A vertical fracture that extends near the gum line requires immediate treatment to save the tooth. If the crack deepens and reaches the gum line, tooth extraction may be needed.
  4. Split Tooth - A split tooth is referred to as a fracture with distinct segments that can be moved and separated. Typically, a split tooth needs to be removed.
  5. Vertical root fracture - This crack begins below the gum line and extends upwards toward the chewing surface. A vertical root fracture can be left undetected as it causes no symptoms until the tooth becomes infected and requires extraction.

The different types of chipped or broken tooth treatment

When a fractured tooth requires treatment, restorative dentistry in Calgary offers multiple treatments depending on the severity of the chip or crack. Some of the most common treatments are:

  • Porcelain veneers - A custom porcelain veneer is typically used to treat a chipped or broken front tooth. It not only conceals the imperfection with a realistic-looking veneer tooth, but it strengthens the structure as well. The restoration blends in with your other teeth for a natural-looking smile.
  • Dental fillings - Dental fillings (applying composite resin) are used to treat a minor fracture or crack.
  • Dental crowns - Your restorative dentist may recommend a dental crown for larger fractures. A crown fits over the whole tooth and restores structure while providing strength.
  • Root canal - When a fracture affects the pulp of the tooth ((the innermost layer of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels), a root canal is performed to avoid tooth extraction. The tissue inside the tooth is removed, and the canals are filled to eliminate an infection.

If you’ve chipped a tooth, it’s important to head to your dentist as soon as possible. You could avoid more significant issues in the long run and prevent losing your tooth altogether.

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