When a tooth becomes cracked, you need to see your Des Moines, IA, dentist for treatment. Without care, the fracture could mean the onset of serious oral health complications, complications that could even lead to tooth loss in severe cases. How do we repair cracked teeth, and when should you schedule a visit?
The Dangers (and Possible Causes) of Fractured Teeth
Our outer layer of tooth enamel is composed of the hardest substance in the human body, and used to protect the teeth from harmful bacteria. However, should an injury damage the teeth, then bacteria could bypass the enamel and reach the inner dentin, causing cavities to form. Eventually, these cavities could lead to an infection and serious discomfort, such as aching or sensitive teeth. In some cases, the fracture could run down the length of the tooth, and expose the inner pulp and root canals, increasing the risk of an infection developing in a shorter timeframe. The causes of a cracked tooth could include biting down on a hard piece of food, such as ice or a popcorn kernel. Chewing on pens or pencils could also damage a tooth, and untreated cavities could weaken tooth structure. An injury could damage the tooth as well.
Root Canal Treatment
If the damage exposes the root canals and inner pulp, or if a cavity forms as a result of the fracture, then a root canal procedure may be necessary. The root canal involves the dentist opening the tooth and removing the infected tissue from within. The dentist then fills the tooth with a restorative material and after the material cures, caps the tooth with a dental crown. The treatment halts the progression of decay and infection, and protects the smile from tooth loss and severe discomfort.
Crowns and Onlays
We may also repair a cracked tooth with a custom restoration made from lifelike and strong ceramic. The crown covers the entire visible portion of the tooth, which protects the smile from cavities and infection as a result of the damage. For minor damage to the tooth, then we may place an onlay, which is smaller than a crown and covers the cusps on top of the tooth. Both will be made from ceramic and custom-created to match the color of the surrounding tooth structure. If you have any questions about repairing a smile then contact our team today. We will help protect your smile with a custom-made and long-lasting dental restoration.
Have You Cracked a Tooth?
If you have chipped or fractured a tooth, then talk to your dentist about possible treatment options. For more information on restorative dentistry, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.