Broken Teeth Before
Broken Teeth After
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, easily capable of withstanding a lifetime of normal chewing forces. Teeth are simply not supposed to break. When a tooth does break, it is because it has been weakened by either decay or trauma.
Dental trauma can be either acute (like a fall or biting on an olive pit), or from clenching, grinding, or teeth that don’t line up the way they are supposed to. When our patients break a tooth, it is our job to discover why and, when possible, to correct the problem. Often, the issue is related to how the teeth come together when biting. Fortunately, these problems can be diagnosed and predictably treated when you make an appointment to meet with Dr. Forgosh at Green Hills Dentistry in Allentown, PA.
Signs That You Have a Cracked or Broken Tooth
Most people realize when their tooth has become cracked or broken. However, if the tooth is in the back of your mouth or hidden from view, you may not realize it’s broken. Here are some signs to look out for if that’s the case:
- Sensitivity or pain when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures
- Pain with chewing
- General mouth discomfort that comes and goes
- A sharp edge you can feel with your tongue
Types of Cracked or Broken Teeth
The type of tooth breakage you experience will determine which treatment option Dr. Forgosh pursues. There are several different types of cracked or broken teeth, each varying in severity:
- Craze lines: Small cracks that only appear in the outer enamel of your tooth are craze lines. They’re generally no cause for concern, other than how they make the tooth look.
- Fractured cusp: The bumps on the chewing surface of back teeth are called “cusps”. Cracks often occur at the base of these cusps and even cause them to break off, leaving a sharp edge and sensitive dentin exposed.
- Cracked tooth: A crack that extends through the enamel into dentin. These cracks cause chewing pain. It is important to stabilize cracked teeth with a crown as soon as possible to prevent it from extending into the pulp or down the root. Cracks into the pulp will need root canals, but those that extend to the root will likely split the tooth.
- Split tooth: If a cracked tooth is not caught in time, a split may be the result. The patient will probably notice two distinct tooth segments, and significant discomfort. These teeth cannot be saved if the split extends into the bone (vertical root fracture).
- Vertical root fracture: A fracture that extends the length of the root is a significant dental injury. These teeth cannot be saved.
Broken and Cracked Tooth Repair
If you experience a cracked or broken tooth, your dentist may pursue several treatment options:
- Dental bonding: This solution involves a composite resin that’s bonded directly to your broken tooth. This is a good solution for small fractures and areas of teeth that don’t come in contact when you chew.
- Crowns: Not only do these custom-made restorations cover the broken tooth, providing an aesthetically appealing facade, but they also protect the injured tooth and prevent the cracks from extending further.
- Veneers: Porcelain Veneers cover part of your tooth to improve the contour and esthetics, and provide support for teeth that have become worn, cracked, or otherwise damaged.
- Dental implants: If it’s impossible to save the natural tooth, an implant can be affixed. First, a new root made of titanium screws is embedded in the jaw. Once that’s fused, a crown can be attached, giving you all the functionality of your natural tooth.
Schedule Your Appointment With Dr. Forgosh
If you’ve broken or cracked a tooth, be sure to schedule your appointment at Green Hills Dentistry as soon as possible. Dr. Forgosh can asses your condition and recommend the best treatment option to help with your specific circumstances.