Tooth enamel is the hardest material in the human body. However, facial trauma from accidents such as falls, untreated cavities, consumption of hard foods, and damage from sports can cause your teeth to break or chip. While broken or chipped teeth may cause you to panic, your dentist can fix them with these treatment options.
Dental Crown or Cap
Crowns should improve the appearance of the teeth and protect them. Therefore, when a large part of the tooth decays or breaks off, the dentist may file away or grind the remains of the tooth and cover it with a tooth-shaped cap known as a crown.
Crowns are made from a variety of materials such as ceramic, metal, resin, and porcelain. The dentist can help you choose the suitable material, as all materials have different benefits. For example, resin and porcelain crowns look identical to natural teeth, providing an esthetic and functionally correct replacement for your tooth.
To get a crown, you usually visit the dentist twice. In the initial visit, the dentist may recommend an x-ray that will check the bones surrounding the tooth and the roots. If your tooth has no further issues, the dentist numbs the area and removes some material to make room for the crown. If a large part is broken, the dentist builds it up for the crown.
The dentist then uses a putty-like material to make a tooth impression that goes to a lab to create the crown. You may get a temporary crown of acrylic and return for the permanent crown at the next appointment. However, some dentist offices have digital milling technologies that can make crowns on the same day.
Dental Bonding and Filling
A dental filling is ideal for situations where only a small part of the enamel has chipped off or you have a cavity. On the other hand, dentists use the bonding procedure if they need to repair your front teeth that are visible when you smile.
Bonding does not require the dentist to numb the tooth and surrounding bone, as it is a simple procedure. The dentist etches the tooth surface to make it rough so the bonding material sticks. The dentist then applies an adhesive and tooth-colored composite resin to the teeth. The dentist then uses a blue light to harden the composite resin.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is ideal when a broken tooth or decayed tooth has exposed pulp. The pulp is the sensitive center of the tooth with blood vessels and nerves. If your tooth hurts, the pulp has exposed damage or bacteria from the mouth.
Root canal therapy involves the removal of dead pulp, sanitization, and root canal sealing. This process is not painful — in most cases, the remnant part of the tooth has a crown for ultimate protection.
Dental veneers can improve the look of broken front teeth. Veneers are thin shells of resin or porcelain composite material that cover the front of the tooth. Veneers have a thick section to cover the part of the tooth that’s broken and are tooth-colored.
The dentist removes approximately 0.3 to 1.2 millimeters of enamel from the tooth surface to prepare it for the veneers. Next, the dentist makes a tooth impression that goes to the dental lab where the veneer will be made.
A week or two is necessary for the veneer to be ready, and then the patient can return for the dentist to place it. Placement involves the etching of the tooth surface to roughen it up. The dentist places an adhesive on the veneer and then places the veneer on the tooth. Once the veneer is well-positioned, the dentist uses a special light to help harden the veneer quickly.
You need a professional dentist to help restore your smile when your pearly whites break. Reach out to us at Commack Hills Dental Group to schedule an appointment.