120 million Americans have had at least one cracked tooth. Trauma injuries cause most broken teeth, because teeth are designed to take the brunt of a blow to the mouth. So, instead of a serious head injury, the person has a broken tooth. Cracked tooth repair is a prosthodontist’s speciality.
Whether the cracks are large or small, they all need cracked tooth repair. In fact, small cracks may need more attention than large ones. Small trauma injuries, like biting into hard food or grinding teeth, often cause these small cracks. These tooth injuries cause severe pain which comes and goes. Furthermore, these cracks almost always get worse. The end result could be nerve damage or tooth loss.
What to Do When You Crack Your Tooth
Cracked teeth, unlike cracked bones, never heal on their own. So, an experienced dentist must always address the issue. However, there are some things you can do before your appointment.
Many people make a crude, temporary putty out of sugarless gum and affix it to the crack. This technique is normally a good idea, for several reasons. Obviously, there is the cosmetic effect. A wad of white gum on your tooth is by no means attractive, but it looks a lot better than a cracked tooth which needs repair. Additionally, the putty will keep you from biting down on the tooth and making the crack worse.
Do not try to buff rough edges or otherwise try to fix the tooth on your own. If you preserve the tooth’s natural state as much as possible, it will be easier to repair.
Repairing a Cracked Tooth
There are a number of different ways to repair a cracked tooth. Some are more aggressive than others. The two most important variables are the tooth’s location and the extent of the damage.
Dr. Stone usually bonds or caps cracked front teeth. Dental bonding is a resin which fills the crack. The bonding stains, so it must be professionally cleaned periodically. A dental cap, or a dental crown, is basically a tooth appendage which covers the crack.
Caps are typically the best option for molars. These teeth do most of the chewing and grinding, so a resin may not be strong enough.
Preserving the natural tooth is always the best alternative. However, that’s not always possible. If the damage is extensive, due to the nature of the injury or a delay in seeking treatment, the tooth probably needs to go. Replacement alternatives include dental implants, dentures, and bridges. All of these options have significant pros and cons.
If you crack your tooth, see Dr. Stone straightaway about repair options. The longer you wait, the more extensive, and more expensive, problems can become. So, call the Ft. Lauderdale office of Best Dental Associates today for your initial appointment. We reserve time every day for dental emergencies.