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Ask a General Dentist: Can a Dental Filling Be Used to Treat a Broken Tooth?
Doing things like biting into hard candy or ice can lead to a broken tooth. Falling or receiving a blow to the face may also cause a tooth to break, crack or chip. Dental problems like large cavities or lost fillings can also cause these problems. Fortunately, a dental filling can be used to repair a broken or cracked tooth.
Repairing a broken tooth
A broken tooth may refer to a chip in the hard enamel exterior or the complete breakage of an area, which leaves the pulp and dentin exposed. Tooth enamel does not contain nerve or blood vessels, so enamel loss may not cause any pain. But when the pulp or dentin is exposed to the air, the tooth usually hurts. Over time, bacteria can end up infecting exposed pulp, which may cause more pain.
Other issues that may be experienced include sensitivity to temperature changes and the discoloration of the remaining enamel. A person may also feel pain from the injury that led to the broken tooth, whether or not the pulp or dentin is exposed. There are many different types of tooth fractures and breaks. Each of which may need different treatments. Here are some ways a dentist can treat a broken, chipped or cracked tooth.
Minor chips do not always need treatment. But a dentist may recommend repairing the damage with a filling material. This can help prevent the problem from getting worse or make the tooth not only look but also feel better. For a cracked tooth, the fracture often involves the entire tooth from the chewing surface to the nerve.
Even though the pieces remain in place, the crack gradually spreads. Filling material can sometimes be used to repair cracks. The tooth may need a dental crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. A chip or crack that ends up going deeper than the surface will require more extensive repair.
If the crack extends into the pulp, a root canal may be needed. During the procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp will be removed. The inside of the tooth will be sanitized. It will then be filled and sealed with a rubbery material referred to as gutta-percha.
Afterward, the tooth will be capped with a filling or a dental crown. The root canal procedure may be performed by a general dentist or an endodontist. This procedure has become much more common and is far less painful than it once was. Nowadays, it is often no more painful than getting a filling.
The ideal treatment for a broken or chipped tooth depends on the extent of the damage. In some cases, a dental filling is often recommended for the treatment of a broken tooth. If you have a broken, chipped or fractured tooth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. This will help prevent the problem from getting worse and may even end up saving your tooth. Your dentist will determine the correct treatment option depending on the severity of the damage.
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