When a tooth is significantly damaged, you may need more than a simple filling
There are many reasons why a tooth might break and also a number of ways in which they can be restored. The method used by our dentists will depend on a number of factors including the degree of damage, the location of the tooth in the mouth and also the prognosis for the tooth in question.
Small breakages to a tooth can occur following decay or through cracks in the enamel which have weakened it.
Teeth grinding can also cause a tooth to break, although more often it will cause enamel wear. Finally, there are accidents. A fall or a blow to the mouth can cause significant damage to a tooth, leaving it requiring dental treatment at our Woking practice.
Before a broken tooth can be restored, it will need to be examined by one of the dentists at Synergy Parkside who will discuss the treatment options with you and advise you of the most appropriate one for your own situation.
The following treatments are some of the typical ones used in the restoration of a broken tooth.
Occasionally, we might chip a tooth, perhaps from biting something that was much harder than expected. All chipped teeth should be examined to determine if it has exposed the inner part of the tooth or not and there are a number of options available for treatment. If it is very small and a surface chip only, cosmetic bonding can be used to ‘fill’ the chip and smooth any surface that might otherwise cause abrasions to the soft tissues of the mouth such as the lips or cheek.
If the chip is more significant, it might be preferable to fill it in order to protect the tooth. As it is often the front teeth that become chipped, we may suggest the use of tooth coloured fillings to make the repair more discreet when you smile.
Providing that you have a regular 6 monthly check up at our practice, you should hopefully never need to have more than a general filling if decay is the problem. As mentioned above, we can provide white fillings that blend with the natural colour of your teeth. For more significant decay, or where a large filling is needed on a rear tooth for example, other options include crowns, inlays and onlays. Our dentists will advise the most suitable for you.
Although not strictly ‘broken’, teeth that have become worn, whether through grinding them (bruxism) or enamel erosion, are more likely to break than those that haven’t. For many people in this situation, it is likely that they will also have noticed an increase in sensitivity and therefore it is advisable to address the problem as quickly as possible. In some cases, porcelain veneers can be used to achieve this, helping to protect the enamel and protecting against sensitive teeth. However the underlying cause of the bruxism also needs to be addressed as any dental restorations will also be damaged in the same way as the natural tooth.
Badly broken teeth
If a tooth has become badly broken, it may still be possible to fill it. This will depend on the degree of damage to the tooth and where it is located in the mouth. Those teeth that do a lot of chewing and breaking down of food come under a lot of strain on a daily basis. In this case, our Woking dental team may decide that a filling would not provide a suitable degree of strength. Here we may recommend that you have a crown attached to the tooth to restore its natural shape and also give it additional strength to carry out its normal function.
Extractions and replacement
In some instances, a breakage of the tooth might be so severe as to render any restoration almost pointless. If our dentist feels that the tooth would not last very long even when repaired, they may recommend that you have the damaged tooth extracted. This is always a last resort but it does offer the opportunity to have a strong replacement tooth, rather than having to be ultra cautious with a heavily compromised one which could break again at any time. Tooth replacement options available at Synergy Parkside include bridges, dentures and dental implants. We believe that a dental implant offers the best option due to its longevity, strength and stability. We will be pleased to discuss this with you and explain the benefits in full, as well as what the procedure entails.
If you have a broken tooth, however minor you may think it is, you should have it examined by a dentist for further analysis and any follow up treatment. If you would like to book an appointment at Synergy Parkside in Woking, you can do so by calling our receptionists on 01483 766355.