So You Have A Broken Tooth: What Choices Do You Have?

Posted on: 8 May 2018

One of the worst feelings you can have in your mouth is the discovery of a broken tooth. While your feelings turn to panic about the potential amount of damage done, your tongue starts to involuntarily poke at the breakage until your feelings of panic change to annoyance. As someone who has never had a broken tooth before, you are wondering what your options are to repair it. The answer to that question depends on which tooth is broken, and the extent of the damage. Here are three of the most common choices to repair a broken tooth.

Dental Bonding For Small Breaks

If you are lucky, then only a small piece of your tooth has broken away. In this instance, dental bonding is an option to repair the breakage. Dental bonding refers to your dentist using a special dental putty to replace the part of the tooth which is no longer there. After applying putty to the tooth, it is carefully shaped until your tooth resembles a whole one. When your dentist is happy with the shape of the putty, it is then dried using ultraviolet light. This light hardens the putty so it is as strong as the rest of the tooth. The putty can then be smoothed and polished to look the same as the enamel surrounding it.

Dental bonding is good for repair back teeth, but damage to visible teeth requires cosmetic treatment.

Veneers For Visible Teeth

A dental veneer can be described as a front cover for an existing tooth. For example, if you chip your front tooth, a veneer is a perfect solution for this damage. Your dentist takes a mould of the tooth and then prepares a front cover which is shaped the same as the tooth it is applied to. The veneer is attached to the front of the broken tooth using a special bonding cement. Once attached, you cannot tell there is a broken tooth behind the veneer.

However, if a visible tooth is missing more than just a small chip, then it's time to consider a crown.

Crowns For Visible Teeth

Much like a crown which is placed on the head, a crown is a covering placed on top of a badly damaged tooth. A veneer is one small piece of enamel for the front of a tooth, but a crown is a full tooth designed to slip over the top of the broken one. The benefit of the crown is that you don't need to have the damaged tooth removed. It is a dental cap which is made from a mould of the existing tooth. Once it is in place, you can chew as normally as you did with the original tooth.

Once you are aware of a broken tooth, it is best to make an appointment with your dentist to discuss repair options. The longer you leave a broken tooth unattended, the more damaged it gets.