Tooth fractures can occur for a number of reasons. Whether caused by a sports-related injury, a fall, or biting down on something hard, even the smallest tooth fracture can cause major dental problems if left untreated. Fortunately, tooth fractures and dental damage can be effectively treated. There are a variety of restorative dentistry treatments available to treat tooth fractures and damage for improved oral health and confidence. To find out if treatment for tooth fractures is right for you, schedule a consultation with Corpus Christi, TX dentists Charles A. Robertson and Nicholas Perry Orchard.
Common Causes of Tooth Fractures
There are many possible causes of tooth fractures, many of which happen unexpectedly. Some of the most common causes to be aware of include:
- Sports-related injury
- Biting something hard like a pen cap, hard candy, or corn chip
- Motor vehicle accident
- Chronic, untreated teeth grinding
- Expansion and contraction of metal fillings caused by exposure to temperature fluctuations
Treatments for Tooth Fractures
Treating tooth fractures as soon as possible is the best way to prevent further dental damage and restore the smile's appearance. Although the treatment used will depend on the extent of damage, some popular treatments for tooth fractures include:
- Porcelain veneers: Mild fractures on the front facing teeth often benefit from treatment with porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped shells used enhance the appearance of the teeth. Each veneer is custom-made to the desired shape, size, and color to seamlessly blend with the surrounding teeth.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding is similar to porcelain veneer treatment but is performed with a soft, putty-like resin instead of a porcelain shell. The resin used in dental bonding treatment is applied directly to the teeth and molded to the desired shape and size to repair dental damage and improve the smile's appearance.
- Porcelain crowns: Porcelain crowns often offer the perfect solution for treating severe dental fractures and damage. Porcelain crowns are custom-made, tooth-shaped restorations that completely encase a damaged tooth. Dental crowns can help save damaged teeth from requiring extraction, and restore their dental appearance and strength.
- Onlays: For those with dental fractures too severe for dental bonding or porcelain veneers, but not so severe as to require a full dental crown, onlays may be the best option. Onlays, also called “partial crowns,” may be used to repair large areas of damage while preserving as much of the healthy areas of a fractured tooth as possible.
Why Seek Treatment for Tooth Fractures?
Tooth fractures weaken the teeth and increase the risk of further dental damage, making it of utmost importance to seek treatment at the earliest signs of fracture. If left untreated, dental fractures can lead to tooth decay and root canal infections. This is because tooth fractures interrupt the protective enamel layer of the teeth, allowing harmful plaque, bacteria, and acid to enter the tooth. Over time, this exposure will cause the tooth to decay and may eventually allow bacteria to reach the root canal, where the tooth's nerves and blood vessels are located, resulting in a painful root canal infection. Without treatment, tooth decay and root canal infections can lead to tooth loss.
Discover Your Treatment Options
To learn more about treatment for tooth fractures, or to discover which treatment is right for you, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Drs. Robertson and Orchard.