My Tooth Is Fractured, Now What Do I Do?
You might know that your tooth is fractured because of one or more of the following:
- It feels rough or sharp
- It looks rough or chipped
- It hurts to chew
- It is sensitive to pressure, hot, cold, or sweets, or
- Your dentist told you it was broken or chipped!
Depending on how the rest of this tooth looks – see fractured tooth in photo with gold crown on the adjacent tooth – A conservative filling may be all that is needed to restore this tooth. In our Grand Junction, Colorado office, we have not placed a silver/mercury filling or restoration since 1995! More on why later, but it was about that time that I decided that if I would not place a silver filling on my own or a family member’s tooth, why would I place them in my patient’s mouth?
The best thing to do for a fractured tooth will always depend on many things.
- How much of your own tooth remains – can your tooth be saved?
- Does the appearance of your tooth bother you?
- Is there enough remaining tooth to support a new filling or crown?
- Can the rough or chipped area just be polished and maintained as is?
- Is there the need for a root canal?
- Is there the need to complete a gum surgery to access the fractured portion of your tooth to enable restoration and future maintenance of the tooth?
Fractured teeth should in general, be treated as soon as possible. The fracture in a tooth can progress into the root of the tooth which may result in loss of the tooth! Our office will often describe the progression of a tooth fracture like a nick or scratch on car windshields used to spread across the window if it was not repaired. If you have any of the above symptoms, have your tooth checked by a dentist and treated if needed. Our office believes in helping you to make the best decisions for you and your teeth!