Broken or knocked-out teeth are a relatively common dental problem in Australia, with the average Australian adult missing 4.5 teeth. You can break a tooth in various ways, from dental decay weakening the enamel to an accident such as a fall. Regardless of what caused the tooth to break, it should be treated as a dental emergency. Failure to receive prompt broken tooth treatment can result in infection or further damage to the tooth and tooth loss.
Broken Tooth Treatment: Dental Filling
A dental filling can be used in mild to moderate tooth damage, such as a minor break that doesn’t expose the pulp or prevent a decayed tooth from breaking.
When small breaks form, food particles can become lodged in the cavity. Left untreated, this can lead to pulp infection, which usually requires a root canal treatment and, in extreme cases, tooth extraction. To save your tooth, your dentist may prescribe a dental filling.
In a dental filling, your dentist applies a local anaesthetic and removes the decayed tissue. They then clear the cavity of debris and insert layers of tooth-coloured composite resin, cured with a specialised light.
Broken Tooth Treatment: Dental Crowns
While dental crowns can be used for various dental issues, they are highly effective in treating dental emergencies such as a broken or cracked tooth. Crowns are generally used if the broken tooth exposes the dentin or pulp layers but doesn’t reach below the gum line. The crown prevents further tooth deterioration, restores functionality, and looks just like a normal tooth.
The emergency dentist shapes the tooth and removes any damaged tissue for a dental crown. They then take an impression of the tooth and create a mould to ensure a proper fit. Once the crown is fabricated, the dentist applies the crown over the top of the tooth, down to the gum line.
Broken Tooth Treatment: Root Canal Therapy
Under some circumstances, it may be necessary for the dentist to perform root canal therapy to save the broken tooth in a dental emergency. This procedure is used in cases where a front tooth needs a crown but has deteriorated to the point that there is not enough healthy tooth left or in cases where a broken back tooth has exposed nerve or infected pulp.
If the dentist decides you need root canal therapy to fix the broken tooth, they will apply a local anaesthetic to reduce discomfort. When the anaesthetic takes effect, the dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth and begin to remove the pulp. The tooth will then be cleaned and disinfected before the dentist seals it with a rubber material called gutta-percha.
Broken Tooth Treatment: Dental Implants
In some cases, the tooth may be too badly broken to save. These cases are considered a dental emergency, and the tooth will need to be extracted.
After the tooth is extracted, the emergency dentist may recommend dental implants as the best way to replace the missing tooth. To perform this procedure, the emergency dentist places it into the jawbone, guided by a 3D, computer-generated template, to replace the tooth’s root. A custom-made, durable crown is then placed on top of the implant, which will function as a normal tooth. Find out more.
Repair Your Smile With Total Care Dental Studio
If you have a broken tooth, it should be considered a dental emergency, and you should seek immediate treatment from an emergency dentist at Total Care Dental Studio. Call (07) 3186 8517 to speak with Total Care Dental Studio about treating your broken tooth today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Australian Dental Association – How Many Teeth Do You Have? How Many Will You Keep For Life?
Healthdirect – Dental Injury
Better Health Channel – Dental Injuries: Knocked Out, Chipped, or Cracked Teeth