There are so many ways to damage teeth – from not catching a ball thrown at you, to biting down on a piece of hard candy, to falling down on a hard surface. Fortunately, there are many ways to fix cracked or broken teeth too.
If you’ve suffered dental damage, call Carmichael Dental Care today at 334-600-1423 right away. We’ll examine you and determine which method of restorative repair will work best for your situation.
Among the factors we’ll consider:
- Size of the break or crack
- How much of your tooth structure remains intact
- Whether the damage affects your tooth’s pulp
In the meantime we’ve highlighted for you here some of our most common treatments for cracked or broken teeth.
Veneers or Bonding Are Great for Fixing Minor Damage
For damage that primarily affects the surface of your teeth, like small cracks and chips, two good options are dental veneers and tooth bonding.
We attach porcelain veneers to the front surfaces of your teeth. They’ll cover the damage and also strengthen your teeth. It usually takes two visits to our office to receive these custom-made restorations. We’ll make impressions of your teeth to ensure you get a great fit.
We send the impressions to a dental lab where your veneers are made. When the veneers arrive we’ll remove a tiny portion of enamel from your teeth before applying the veneers. With proper care, veneers will look and feel great for many years.
With the bonding process, we carefully apply layers of tooth-colored composite, the same material used for fillings, to your teeth before hardening it with an ultraviolet light. Unlike veneers, we can usually complete a tooth bonding treatment in one appointment. Though bonding is less costly than veneers, it won’t last as long.
Dental Crown Can Fix Bigger Problems
Unlike veneers, a dental crown covers your whole tooth. Because of this, it’s a better option for more extensive damage like large cracks or a break. To use a veneer, you need to have enough remaining healthy tooth structure for us to bond it to your tooth.
Similar to the process for a veneer, we’ll prepare your tooth for a crown, then make an impression of the tooth to send to an outside dental lab where your crown is made. We’ll also provide a temporary restoration for you to wear until the new crown arrives. When it does, you’ll return to our office where we’ll bond it to your tooth.
Our crowns are made of either porcelain or zirconia, both materials that are valued for their natural appearance and durability. Either kind of crown should last for at least a decade – and likely far longer than that.
For Damage Not Fixed Right Away, You May Need a Root Canal
A danger of not repairing cracked or broken teeth is that bacteria can enter your tooth and cause the pulp inside your tooth to become infected. If it does, you’ll need a root canal to save the tooth. One of our dentists will remove all of the infected pulp before sealing your tooth with a dental crown. Root canal procedures have a reputation of being painful. If a root canal is done right, though, you’ll shouldn’t feel any pain. Since the procedure can take an hour or more, some patients opt to receive dental sedation.
If Tooth Can’t Be Saved, Consider a Dental Implant
In some cases, such as if a crack extends below your gumline, we may need to gently extract your tooth. If you lose a tooth, we’ll encourage you to consider getting a dental implant. We can then restore the implant with a crown, so your teeth looks, feels, and functions like it did before. Unlike some other replacement teeth, an implant provides stimulation for your jaw, which keeps the bone from deteriorating.
We’ll connect you with a local oral surgeon who will place your dental implant. Once it’s fully healed, a process that takes several weeks, one of our dentists will attach a crown to your implant.
Don’t Delay Getting Help for Cracked or Broken Teeth
It’s important to see us as soon as you can if you’ve suffered dental damage. As noted above, not repairing the tooth can result in the damage becoming worse or even in your tooth becoming infected. Call us right away for an appointment, and we’ll work you into our schedule as soon as we can.
In the meantime, here is how to care for cracked or broken teeth:
- If possible, collect any bits of tooth that have broken off to bring with you.
- If a break has left a sharp edge, cover it with dental wax. If you don’t have wax, you can use a piece of sugarless gum!
- Avoid biting down on cracked or broken teeth. If the root becomes damaged, you’ll need a root canal procedure.
- Avoid hot or cold foods, as they will likely cause discomfort. Avoid acidic substances or ones high in sugar too, as they can irritate your tooth’s nerve.
- Rinse with warm salt water a few times a day to help keep the area free of bacteria.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, if needed. Avoid aspirin; choose Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen) instead.
- For added pain relief, use a topical anesthetic like Orajel (benzocaine) or Anbesol (lidocaine). You can buy them at most drugstores. ,Another option is oil of cloves (eugenol) which can be found in most health food stores. Soak a small piece of cotton in the oil, then squeeze to remove the excess. Hold the cotton on the painful tooth for 10 seconds, taking care not to swallow any of the oil.
If you’ve damaged your tooth, call us ASAP at 334-600-1423. We’ll find the right fix for your cracked or broken teeth!