I’ve Cracked a Tooth… Now What?
The sound and pain of cracking or chipping a tooth can be terrifying. Not everyone has been there, so if you have experienced this feeling, consider yourself among the minority. Depending on the severity, there are many ways you can recover from this.
Maybe you fell and broke your fall with your front teeth or perhaps you were trying to open a bottle of champagne and accidently corked yourself in the mouth (trust us, you’ll be laughing about that later on in life). Either way, chipping a front tooth (or teeth) can be a scary experience.
The first time you smiled in a mirror, your heart probably sank. Worry not, though, 90% of front tooth damage is repairable! Here are a few ways:
- Dental Bonding (composite material that is shaped to replace the missing parts of the tooth and cured)
- Veneers (porcelain cover for the front)
- Crowns (porcelain cover for entire tooth)
Ultimately, you don’t need to worry too much about your cracked or chipped tooth. At least not for long!
If your tooth is so heavily damaged that the root is impacted from the chipping or crack, you’ll find that more drastic measures will need to be taken to save your smile. You may find in some cases that the tooth is complete unsalvageable and will require extraction.
If your tooth is salvageable, it will require a root canal and a crown. This is often the case with severely damage molars. If the root can be repaired, you can keep your natural root and simply have a crown placed on top.
However, if your tooth is not salvageable (could be the case with both molars and front teeth), you will likely need it extracted. You can either get a bridge or an implant to replace the missing tooth or teeth. A bridge will crown the outer teeth (the teeth around the missing tooth) and a filler tooth will be firmly affixed between them. A dental implant will replace the tooth altogether with an anchoring screw.
What can I do to prevent my teeth from cracking?
While cracked teeth are not completely preventable, you can take some steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks.
- Don’t chew on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels or pens.
- Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
- If you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, talk to your dentist about getting a retainer or other mouthguard to protect your teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports.
What is the Next Step?
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. We will be able to determine what your best solution will be. The longer you wait, the more likely it will become irreparable and require extraction!
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