Treatment for Tooth Fractures: Repairing Your Smile
Fractured teeth present a number of cosmetic and health issues. If a damaged tooth is not repaired, it could lead to pain when biting and chewing and even a severe infection. Thankfully our Chicago, IL practice offers different cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments to address all sorts of chips and cracks.
We’d like to take a moment to consider some of the common treatments for fractured teeth. During a consultation, we will let you know what treatment is most ideal for your situation.
For very minor fractures, dental bonding is the ideal option for treatment. Dental bonding involves painting tooth-colored resin directly onto the damaged portion of the tooth. This resin hardens and conceals cosmetic flaws from view. The bonding material is carefully color-matched to the patient’s teeth so that it blends in seamlessly, meaning others will not realize that you have undergone a cosmetic dentistry treatment.
For more serious fractures that are still predominantly cosmetic in nature, porcelain veneers are an excellent option. Porcelain veneers are tooth-colored shells that are affixed to the fronts of the teeth. These shells help hide cosmetic flaws from view. Since the material is semi-translucent, light partially passes through it much like your natural teeth.
When the fracture affects the overall structure of a tooth, dental restorations will be required. For minor fractures of this nature, a dental filling is helpful. This will help rebuild the missing tooth structure so the tooth is not weakened or compromised. Both metal and tooth-colored fillings are available, and the ideal option for you will depend on the type of tooth that was fractured.
Inlays and Onlays
For more serious fractures that a dental filling cannot fix, the next step up in restorations will be necessary. Inlays and onlays function much like dental fillings, but they are larger and able to rebuild more of a tooth’s structure. In some cases, inlays and onlays are used to rebuild the entire cusp (biting surface) of a person’s tooth. Like fillings, tooth-colored and metal version are available.
For severe fractures, a dental crown may be the only viable option for treatment. A dental crown is used to cap a damaged tooth. This protects the underlying structure from further damage, and allows a patient to bite and chew again without pain or discomfort. Metal crowns and tooth-colored crowns are available, with metal crowns most commonly used on the molars and premolars.
Root Canal Therapy
When a tooth is fractured, there is a risk that the dental pulp within it will become infected. Endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) will need to be performed in these cases. Root canal therapy removes the diseased dental pulp, sterilizes the internal pulp chamber, and caps the tooth with a crown to restore the ability to bite and chew.
What If a Tooth Cannot Be Repaired?
There are times when a tooth is so seriously damaged that it cannot possible be repaired. Even a crown may not be able to prevent potential infection or the need for further dental work sooner rather than later. In these instances, the best option will be tooth extraction. With the tooth removed, you and your dentist can go over options for tooth replacement, such as a bridge or a crown supported by a dental implant.
Learn More About Your Dental Treatment Options
For more information about treating damaged teeth and improving your dental health, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. Robert W. Hessberger, DDS and his team is here to help you smile with enhanced confidence.