Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack (fracture) or break. This can happen in several ways:
- Biting down on something hard
- Being hit in the face or mouth
- Physical contact
- Habit of biting nails
- Having cavities that weaken the tooth
A chipped tooth is a common injury that can happen from activities as simple as eating to activities as simple as playing contact sports. When a tooth chips or breaks it may not hurt you. Your tongue usually feels the sharp area pretty quickly. Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain but if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt. That’s because the nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. If it is exposed to air, hot or cold foods or drinks, it can be extremely uncomfortable. Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be constant or may be intermittent. Many people feel pain when they chew because chewing puts pressure on the tooth. Treatment of the injury varies depending on the symptoms and the tooth’s condition.
Treatment options to fix a chipped tooth…
Our dentists at Partners In Dental Health will examine and assess the condition of the tooth. Achipped tooth may not need repair. We may choose to smooth any sharp edges with a polishing instrument. We also can bond the tooth with a filling material called resin composite (white tooth colored fill) after any weakened and unsupported tooth enamel is removed. If the tooth happens to be fractured through the enamel and into the dentin (the next layer of the tooth), it will likely cause temperature sensitivity especially to cold. The tooth often will need a crown to protect the tooth and prevent the crack from getting worse. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. If the fractured tooth caused damage to the pulp (nerve and other live tissues), you may also need a root canal. A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. So if your chipped tooth starts to give you pain, give us a call immediately. Dr’s Kent and Davis are all experienced in preforming composite fillings, root canal therapy and crowns if necessary.