Do you have a chipped tooth? Do you have a broken tooth?
Here at Seaman Family Dentistry we repair all variations of chipped and broken teeth. The first thing you should know, is that this condition should not be ignored. Chipped or broken teeth need treatment and are at higher risk for further problems. So, do act quickly and schedule an appointment to handle this problem.
You might be asking, how do you fix chipped or broken teeth?
Well, the answer to that question depends on the size and location of the chip or break. You may have a very slight, almost unnoticeable chip or your tooth could be broken off at the gumline – so the services necessary to repair your tooth are going to vary based on the severity and location of the problem. The following will discuss each type of chipped or broken tooth condition and the typical service utilized to repair the tooth.
Minor chips, which are more likely felt than seen, can either be just smoothed by the dentist or composite (tooth colored) filling material can be used to fill in the missing piece.
Small chips on front teeth can also usually be repaired using composite filling material to fill in and reshape the tooth, similar to having a filling done to restore a decayed tooth. See the example photos below showing a chipped tooth and the same tooth after it was repaired using composite filling material.
Larger chipped or broken front teeth, where a composite filling would not have enough remaining tooth structure to provide support for the replacement material, typically require a dental veneer or crown to restore the tooth.
Chipped or broken back teeth are typically not able to be repaired with composite filling material, since most of these situations involve at least one cusp of the tooth. Since most of your chewing force comes from your back teeth, a filling used to replace the cusp of a tooth would likely break off. So to properly fix a chipped or broken back tooth, a crown is best option, it will not only fix the tooth it will also restore the tooth’s chewing function and strength. The following video demonstrates how a crown is used to repair a broken tooth where a cusp has broken.
Cusp Fractures: Crown
If you have a more severe broken tooth, where the tooth has broken at or below the gumline, a crown alone may not be enough to repair the tooth. You could be in a situation where the tooth also needs a root canal before a crown can be done. In addition, you may need other services to provide more surface for a crown to be placed on. Many people think if the tooth is broken off at the gumline, it automatically needs to be removed. This is not always the case, many times posts can be placed into the root of the tooth (after a root canal has been done) to provide a surface to attach a crown to it. Also, a service called “crown lengthening” may be utilized to allow a crown to attach to more of the root section of the tooth. The video below shows how crown lengthening is used to provide more surface area for a crown to be attached.
Cusp Fractures: Crown lengthening
Unfortunately, not all broken or split teeth can be repaired. If the break, split, or crack extends too far below the gumline, then the remaining tooth or root may need to be removed and replaced. Depending on the condition of your surrounding teeth, remaining bone support, and other factors, you may need an implant or a bridge to replace the tooth.
If you currently have a chipped or broken tooth, we urge you to contact us right away and schedule an appointment. Dr. Robert Seaman will examine the tooth and discuss what service or services will be needed to repair your tooth. You should not put this off, many broken teeth involve tooth decay and/or are exposing the inner portion of the tooth which can cause more sensitivity, allow the tooth to decay faster, and are at risk of involving the nerve of the tooth – if this has not already happened. So call today and schedule your appointment at Seaman Family Dentistry in Lenexa to have this problem addressed quickly.