When tooth gets chipped or fractured,the first consideration must be whether the pulp- the vital, living portion of the tooth has been damaged. If a fracture is sensitive, painful, or uncomfortable,it may be because the pulp is exposed. Ultimately, the condition of the pulp and the amount of remaining tooth structure will determine the choice of treatment.
What kind of fracture do you have?
- Minor fracture: Minor fractures,such as small chips off the biting edges of the teeth,are usually simple to repair. If the chipped tooth is of sufficient length, it may be cosmetically contoured. Often,the neighbouring teeth are also contoured so that no one tooth stands out from the rest. Or, an acid-etch bonding technique may be used to 'fill out' the defect. Crowning should be avoided in case of minor fracture whenever possible. Remember that it is always best-at least initially-to try simple therapies that preserve the colour, shape, and health of the tooth.
- Porcelain crown fracture: A porcelain crown fracture may also occur. Keep an eye on your metal bonded crowns to see if dark outlines appear at the gum line. If a dark outline gradually appears, you may have a fracture of the crown or shrinkage of the gum tissue. If a fracture has occurred, the loss of porcelain at the gum line may weaken the remaining restoration,making it susceptible to additional damage. Eventually the entire crown may have to be replaced.
- Serious fracture: Serious fracture,which is often caused by accidents, are best treated with the least amount of additional stress possible. Your dentist may choose to bond some teeth and crown others,especially when time is needed to determine if the nerves in the teeth can be saved. If you have a fracture see your dentist as soon as possible if you aren't experiencing any pain. Often, the only sign of pulpal damage is tooth discoloration. In such cases,the damaged nerve is replaced with a root canal filling.
- Vertical root fracture: Tooth removal is only choice left.