No matter how carefully we chew, there are times when we crack or chip off part of a tooth. Cracked and chipped teeth are more common than most people realize. In many instances, a minor chip may not cause more than a cosmetic issue to your mouth. However, major chips or fractures may lead to infections in your gum and jaw tissue. These situations must be addressed quickly.
For a tooth with a minor chip along the surface, your dentist may suggest cosmetic bonding. Cosmetic dental bonding is made up of the same composite resins used for tooth-colored cavities. This results in the bonded tooth looking completely natural. The chipped tooth is cleaned, and bonding material molded into place. The tooth is then polished to look natural and feel smooth.
Another consideration is the size and location of the broken tooth. In some cases, a dentist may recommend having a dental crown cemented over the original tooth. Dental crowns are customized for your teeth and are incredibly durable. They look almost exactly like a real tooth and can last for a lifetime.
While many small cracks can be filled using resin, other teeth may need to be covered with a dental veneer or crown. Dental veneers work best for cracks on the front surface of the tooth. Crowns are better suited for cracks that circle around the tooth or are in the back.
Unfortunately, some cracks are very deep and may begin to irritate the inner pulp of the tooth. At this stage, endodontic therapy or root canals may be recommended. During a root canal, the dentist gently removes the innermost pulp and nerve chamber inside of the tooth. The area is then cleaned thoroughly to remove infection. The tooth is then filled and sealed. Since a root canal may cause the tooth to turn gray, cracked teeth treated with a root canal need to be covered with a crown.
If large cracks run into the root of the tooth, the tooth may need extraction. Deep cracks can expose your nerves, jaw, and face to many types of infections. Fortunately, modern dental implants are designed to look and feel exactly as your natural teeth. After a titanium post is put into place and the area heals, a crown is used to perfect your smile again.
If you are dealing with a cracked or chipped tooth, call the office of Dr. Scott Malik at (847) 724-1771 for an appointment. Dr. Malik and his professional staff can help you keep your mouth and teeth looking and feeling their very best. Visit their website to discover all the services they provide.