A broken tooth can cause several problems. Depending on the tooth that is broken and how much of it has broken off, it could lead to both oral health issues and esthetic issues. Not only could a broken tooth cause pain and lead to further decay, but it could also mean that you no longer like your smile.
If a tooth breaks, there are various ways it can be fixed. The options available are affected by which tooth is broken and the nature of the injury. Keep reading to find out how a broken tooth can be treated and repaired.
What to Do When You Break a Tooth?
When you break a tooth, it’s a good idea to try to take action right away. If you break a tooth, clean it by rinsing your mouth out with warm water. If there is any bleeding, apply pressure and use a cold compress to prevent any swelling. When a piece has broken off, it may be possible to reattach it. If you can find it, wrap it in wet gauze and take it to the dentist with you.
If you have completely lost a tooth, you can try to place it back in the socket. Rinsing it off with water will help if it looks dirty. It’s also possible to help preserve the tooth if you can’t get it into the socket. Put it in a glass of saline solution, water or milk to protect it, and try to get to a dentist within half an hour.
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can help if you have any pain. Applying clove oil to the area can help too, as it contains a numbing agent that also has anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s a good idea to protect your tooth until you are able to see a dentist. You can buy a temporary tooth repair kit from most drugstores, which often contain dental wax or other material to help cover a broken tooth. You should avoid chewing on the side with the damaged tooth and try flossing around it. However, if you have a large chip or piece of your tooth missing, avoid flossing so that you don’t make the problem worse.
See a dentist as soon as you can. Emergency appointments are available when you need to see a dentist on the same day.
When is Treatment Is Needed?
There are some occasions when treatment might not be needed for a broken tooth. Some small cracks or chips aren’t serious enough to need treatment, at least not right away. Craze lines, which are small cracks in the enamel of the tooth, are common and don’t need to be created. However, any chip or crack that is larger than very minor damage should be treated. It’s not always possible to tell by looking how deep the damage might go, and an X-ray might be needed to determine the full extent of it. Most cracks in your tooth can wait for a dentist appointment, but it’s important to see a dentist right away if you lose a tooth of you’re bleeding heavily.
When you have a small chip in your tooth, polishing is one solution that can repair the damage. Smoothing out the tooth to get rid of any jagged edges will prevent any cuts on the tongue or cheek. Known as cosmetic contouring, this is a great option for slight damage that only affects a minor portion of the tooth.
Bonding is another option to help repair minor damage in teeth. Dental bonding can be used to fill in gaps and lines and is carried out by first slightly abrading the tooth. A conditioning liquid is applied, followed by a composite resin, which is tooth-colored. By forming the resin into the right shape, the tooth can be repaired, so it looks smart again. If there is a piece of a broken tooth that you have managed to save, it can possibly be reattached using dental bonding.
Root Canal/Crown Replacement
Deeper cracks or chips, which go beyond the surface of the tooth, might require further repair. One option is a root canal treatment, which can be used if the crack has extended into the pulp of the tooth, the soft tissue in the center of the tooth. A root canal treatment removes pulp that is inflamed or infected. The root canals are then cleaned out, and the tooth is filled and protected with a filling or a crown. This treatment helps to preserve a tooth that might otherwise need to be removed so that the patient can keep their natural style.
Surgery might also be an option for a broken tooth. One circumstance when this might be appropriate is if one root of a molar, which has multiple roots, has been damaged. A hemisection removes the affected root, and a root canal and crown repair the remainder of the tooth. Surgery can help in other instances too. An endodontist may suggest surgery to help find hidden canals and cracks that don’t show up on X-rays.
Removing a tooth might be the best option if it can’t be repaired. The crack in the tooth might be too deep, or too much of the tooth might have broken off. While trying to save the tooth is often preferable, it’s not always possible. When you have a tooth removed, it can be replaced with one of a number of solutions. These include dentures, bridges, and dental implants. Dentures are removable and can replace any number of teeth. Bridges bridge the gap between teeth and are attached to crowns on either side. Dental implants offer a permanent solution, involving an implant in the jaw and a prosthetic tooth.
What is the Cost of Fixing a Broken Tooth in Houston, TX?
The cost of repairing a broken tooth depends on the method used. A minor procedure might cost a few hundred dollars, while a more complex procedure could cost several thousand. If you need dental treatment to repair a tooth, you can check with your dental insurance and explore financing options. Below is a chart with pricing to fix a broken tooth across the greater Houston area.
Fixing a Broken Tooth Cost in Houston, TX
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If you find yourself with a broken tooth in the greater Houston area, contact our team of experts to help resolve your issue today!