What is the Best Way to Fix a Fractured Tooth?

Posted February 24, 2022
Learn how to fix a fractured tooth

For millions of people, having to go to the dentist is one of their biggest fears. In fact, back in 2018, the online market research company, Dentavox, conducted a survey that found that nearly two thirds of the participants suffered from some form of dental fear, with nearly 4 percent of them stating they’d never been to the dentist at all as a result. 

However, as we move through life, a trip to the dentist is inevitable and can only be avoided for so long. In fact, it’s typically recommended that we visit the dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and exam to make sure our dental health is in tip-top shape, and to address any potential concerns before they get out of hand.

But the hard fact of the matter is that sometimes, life throws us a curveball and a trip to the dentist becomes a necessity, particularly should we ever find ourselves with what could be considered many people’s worst nightmare…

A fractured tooth.

What Qualifies as a Fractured Tooth?

Fractured Tooth QualificationsA fractured tooth refers to any crack that appears in your tooth, no matter how big or small. Sometimes, they can seem rather inconsequential, and other times, the fracture is so severe and painful that postponing a trip to the dentist isn’t even an option.

Our teeth are made up of two parts: the crown, which is the part of the tooth that is visible, and the root, the area that lies beneath the gums.

The crown and the root both consist of three layers: the enamel, which is the outermost layer; the dentin, which is the middle layer of the tooth; and the pulp, the innermost and softest layer of the tooth where all the blood vessels and nerves lie. All three of these layers are susceptible to being fractured.

When a tooth is fractured, it often results in a varying degree of pain and/or sensitivity depending on the severity of the fracture. In milder cases, however, the fracture itself may not cause any immediate discomfort and could easily be overlooked. Regardless of how severe the fracture is, seeing a dentist as soon as possible is highly encouraged so as to avoid any potential longterm complications.

What are the Various Treatment Options?

How best to treat a fractured tooth depends on several factors, which the dentist will take into consideration. They include, but are not limited to, the severity of the fracture, the root cause of the fracture, and exactly what type of fracture you have.

Once the evaluation is complete, the dentist will recommend treatment accordingly. Here are the 6 ways a fractured tooth can be repaired:

  1. Bonding - Common for smaller, less complicated fractures, bonding involves using plastic resin to fill in the fracture.
  2. Crown - A cap made of either ceramic or porcelain is fitted over the entirety of the fractured tooth.
  3. Veneer - Similar to a crown, a veneer is also used to cover the fractured portion of the tooth; however, unlike a crown, it is only applied to the front of the tooth.
  4. Cosmetic Contouring - If the tooth is chipped or broken, this treatment is used to round out, smooth, and polish the fractured portion of the tooth.
  5. Root Canal - In more severe cases, when the fracture extends to the innermost layer of the tooth (the pulp), a root canal may be required. It involves removing the damaged pulp in its entirety, and then sealing it with a crown or other restorative treatment.
  6. Extraction - Lastly, extraction is a last resort and reserved for the most severe fractures, as it involves complete removal of the tooth.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene and Dental Care

While a fractured tooth can happen to any of us, there are ways to minimize the risks. For instance, if you’re someone who grinds their teeth at night, wearing a night guard may be beneficial. Other good dental care practices that can help prevent a fractured tooth include regular brushing and flossing, avoiding chewing hard foods and/or ice, and regularly going to the dentist for those twice a year cleanings and checkups.

If you’re interested in learning more about veneers, either for a fracture or purely cosmetic reasons, check out this video: 

- BJ


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