Habits like biting your nails or chewing on ice cubes can lead to cracked teeth. These habits can weaken the tooth over time, which can cause tooth fractures. A fractured tooth is often painful and if left untreated, serious fractures can lead to an infection and eventual tooth loss. Our dentists provide a wide range of restorative dentistry treatments for tooth fractures at Bell Dental in Lake Jackson, TX. The sooner you seek treatment, the more of your tooth we can save.
Minor cracks and fractures may cause no symptoms at all. You may, however, feel a sharp edge on the tooth where the fracture has occurred. With more moderate to severe fractures, you will probably feel pain, especially when you bite down when chewing. You may also experience pain when drinking beverages or eating foods that are extremely hot or extremely cold. Even with serious fractures, the pain is typically not constant, which can make it easier to ignore.
Our dentists must determine the location and extent of the fracture. In some cases, a fracture affects only the outer layers of the tooth, so it is plainly visible. In other cases, the fracture affects the internal structures, such as the root. To fully view the extent of the fracture, we will take a series of x-rays. These will allow us to determine which parts and how much of the tooth is affected. After diagnosing the fracture, we can discuss your treatment options with you.
Cracks that do not affect the internal portions of the tooth may require no treatment. If there are sharp edges you are concerned about, we can file those down for you. If the tooth is chipped, we may recommend aesthetic bonding to restore symmetry. Aesthetic bonding is also useful for more minor cracks to help prevent them from spreading.
For more serious internal fractures, we will need to perform root canal therapy. Once root canal treatment is complete, we can repair and stabilize the tooth with either a filling or crown. These natural-looking restorations will lend your tooth the support it needs without affecting the appearance of your smile.
Unfortunately, we cannot always save a fractured tooth. If you wait too long to seek treatment, or if the fracture is severe, tooth extraction may be the only option. If extraction is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss this and your restorative options following tooth removal. Some patients opt for a bridge, which fills the gap with an artificial tooth. Other patients choose the more beneficial dental implant to replace the missing tooth from root to crown.
If you are experiencing erratic pain in any of your teeth, please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. We will do everything we can to save your tooth. If we can’t, we will construct a beautiful restoration to take its place so you can continue enjoying full functionality of your smile.