Why did my tooth break?
A broken tooth (otherwise known as cracked tooth syndrome) can occur due to dental trauma, large cavities, large pre-existing fillings, or lost or broken restorations (crowns). If a broken tooth occurs, it’s important to see Dr. Lepore or Dr. Dougherty immediately to evaluate the severity of the broken tooth and to prevent further damage or tooth pain.
A broken tooth can be as minor as a chip in the enamel layer or as severe as fracturing the tooth to the gum line or into the tooth’s core, where the nerve is located. It is not uncommon for a broken tooth to not cause any pain. However, left untreated, more expensive dentistry could be required as things continue to fail and deteriorate.
Sometimes, teeth can develop cracks, and when not treated, this can have serious consequences for your oral health. Cracks can come from injury or large fillings that weaken the rest of the tooth. Even small cracks can allow bacteria into the tooth, causing decay or infection, leading to further destruction. A cracked tooth may or may not be sensitive to hot and cold or be painful when biting or chewing. Cracks that progress too far can result in entire sections of the tooth breaking off and, in some cases, loss of the tooth entirely.
Broken Tooth Symptoms
- Temperature sensitivity
- Biting sensitivity
- Have no symptoms at all
- Tooth may feel sharp to your tongue if a filling fractures off
Trauma from chewing or large fillings can weaken or leak over time and cause the tooth to fracture. A cracked tooth may not experience temperature sensitivity or experience any pressure sensitivity, but not treating a broken tooth can have serious consequences such as an infection or loss of the tooth.
Broken Tooth Treatment
If the chip is minor, Dr. Lepore or Dr. Dougherty can repair the chipped tooth with a filling or dental bonding.
A chipped tooth is defined by a tooth breaking off above the gum line and a portion of the outer enamel layer completely separating. This often occurs as the result of trauma or impact to the face and mouth. Small fractures or chips involving only the tooth enamel are the least severe and pose the least risk of potential tooth loss. However, they often affect the appearance of your smile and can create sharp edges to the tooth that cause discomfort.
As part of the diagnostic process, typically, your doctor will take a series of X-rays of the area to verify additional injury beyond what is visible has not occurred.
It is important to seek treatment for a chipped tooth so that your doctor can evaluate the area, rule out additional injury, and restore your damaged tooth to its optimal appearance and function.
However, if the crack or break extends to more than half the tooth, the tooth will need a dental crown to protect and maintain the tooth.
Sometimes, when a tooth is severely damaged, and there is not enough of the natural tooth remaining to support a crown, a procedure called a build-up is performed using composite to add back enough structure so the tooth can be crowned and preserved. To begin, your doctor will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and apply a special bonding solution that will ensure the composite build-up material adheres to the tooth. A special curing light is then used to set the bonding fluid. Next, the composite material is applied to fill the prepared area and extend the structure of the tooth. Again, using the curing light, the shaped composite core is solidified into place.
Your doctor will shape the core of the tooth so it can support a crown. After making final adjustments, your doctor may proceed right to designing your crown, or in some cases of severe decay, may leave the buildup in place for a time to monitor and make sure it will successfully support a crown. They will review with you what the best option is based on your unique situation.
If the crack or break extends into the core of your tooth, where your nerve and blood vessels are located, it will require a root canal and a core buildup and crown to properly restore the tooth.
A root canal is needed when the nerve of a tooth has become damaged by injury or infected by decay. In situations where the crown of the tooth is heavily damaged or decayed, this may include rebuilding the tooth with a post and a crown to restore it to optimal appearance and function.
For the first step of this procedure, your doctor numbs the area around your tooth, removes any decayed tooth material, and creates a channel to access the root’s interior. Your doctor will then remove the infected nerve tissue from the root, and flush and clean the area. Next, the root is filled with a special sealing material, and a supporting post or posts are placed inside the tooth.
The tooth interior is then built up with composite, which is bonded and hardened using a special curing light. With the tooth built up and cured, your doctor will finish preparing the tooth for the crown. An impression is taken of the prepared tooth and sent to a dental laboratory. A temporary crown is put in place while the final version is being crafted. At a subsequent appointment, your doctor will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the final restoration. Once completed, your tooth is now restored to optimal shape and function.
What happens if I don’t repair my broken tooth?
Left untreated, a broken tooth can become infected and develop worsening tooth decay, leading to tooth pain and, potentially, eventual loss of the tooth.
Detect potential dental issues now
To prevent potential issues down the line, it’s crucial to maintain your oral health by coming in regularly for dental check-ups.
Our team members will take pictures of your teeth during your visits to show you areas where cracks are developing. Call us at (727) 608-4690 to schedule your next check-up with Dr. Lepore or Dr. Dougherty.
Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry’s Modern Yet Compassionate Dental Care
Well I like to start off by saying that coming to be a patient for the first time to Dr. Lepore I came in here as a Lepore patient but I left from here feeling like I was part of the family and that is so important to me and to my family, and some of the points for me to bring myself and my family here to Dr. Lepore is that he is so professional with his staff – they are so over the top another reason is that they are so up to date with current dental care which again is so important to the patient and I came originally to Doctor Lepore for a front Veneer. He explained what was going on – he took the time with me which was very very important and he created that road map for the – what was going to happen for future dental care. One of the things that is huge with me with Dr. Lepore is that my wife is a cancer survivor and he is a family man. She came to doctor Lepore and he took the time with her and explained to her and was so caring to her and the compassion that he showed her was priceless for me so for me this is my home this is my family and Doctor Lepore and his staff from the roles to the top and down – just an incredible place.
Don’t let broken teeth put the brakes on your smile. Check out https://www.leporedentistry.com/full-mouth-rehabilitation/ to find out how a full mouth rehabilitation can help you.