Tooth Fractures: Types and Treatment Options

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When a tooth fractures, it is natural to feel a sense of panic or fear. After all, a broken tooth can be scary and wondering if your tooth can be saved can be absolutely nerve-wracking. No matter the cause of the fractured tooth, Dr. John M. Hucklebridge, your dentist serving Plano TX, is prepared to provide the appropriate care and get you back on the right track.

A fractured tooth as the result of an accident or trauma is a common occurrence. More often, though, a fractured tooth is the result of another underlying issue. Maintaining your regularly scheduled dental visits can help your dentist to identify these issues before a problem arises. Conditions such as clenching and grinding, old or worn restorations, and unbalanced bite patterns can weaken the teeth. Over time, stress and the normal forces of biting and chewing can lead to troublesome fractures.

A minor crack in the enamel can typically be bonded together with a strong, tooth colored filling. Chipped edges of the front teeth also fit into this category. Minor cracks can be caused by extreme biting or clenching forces or failing restorations. These types of fractures are not generally painful or sensitive at first. They are significant, however, since bacteria and tooth decay can fester in these tiny crevices.

A cracked tooth is typically more severe and extensive. Most patients will experience a certain degree of discomfort, a warning sign that the tooth is unhealthy. If the crack involves only the enamel above the gumline, a dental crown may be recommended to protect the tooth. A crack that reaches below the gumline may warrant an additional procedure called crown lengthening. A crack which extends into the nerve of the tooth may require a root canal procedure.

In the unfortunate instance that a fracture involves the root of the tooth, such as a split tooth, the prognosis is significantly reduced. Your dentist will use x-rays and clinical tests to determine if the tooth can be saved.

The best treatment for a fractured tooth is swift dental care. Prolonging dental treatment can only compound the problem and reduce your chances for saving your tooth. If you have noticed a chipped or fractured tooth, contact Plano Smile Studio at (972) 398-2550 and schedule your dental appointment today.