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Though being firm and solid, teeth can suddenly get covered with cracks and break. What could be more unpleasant than the situation when a piece of tooth broke off? If such a situation has occurred, a patient, as a rule, experiences sharp pain and troubles with chewing, and if the tooth is visible when he smiles, he also suffers from aesthetic discomfort. Sometimes there is bleeding, the tooth may be loose.
Tooth fractures usually occur as a result of injury, fall or biting through something solid. Most often, it is teeth which have internal voids that are subject to fractures. For example, a decayed tooth, having wall thinning, or a tooth, which in the past was treated unprofessionally (for example, the size or a root canal post was chosen incorrectly). Also, at risk are teeth with increased occlusal strain, when there are no adjacent teeth or there appeared malocclusion. When a piece of tooth broke off at gum line, the fracture may affect one or more layers of dental tissues – enamel, dentin, pulp, root; it also can cause displacement the tooth. A small crack in the tooth (if only one layer of enamel is affected) often entails no pain, but in large-scale fractures, the pain can be sharp and severe.
What Is to Be Done?
If a piece of tooth broke off, save it by placing the tooth in a small container with milk or saliva. In some cases, dentists carry out re-implantation of the “native” part of the tooth. Also, you should remember the following recommendations:
- If the damaged place bleeds, gently sop the place of the fracture with a piece of gauze.
- After having a meal, be sure to rinse your mouth with salt water.
- If you experience sharp pain, take an analgesic.
- You can also make a cool compress.
- Eat with great caution.
Most importantly, in any degree of a fracture and in any slightest suspicion that there is a fracture, be sure to contact the dental clinic. Much depends on how quickly you will visit the doctor. Modern dentistry has a range of effective methods of restoring teeth after fractures, but for their successful application, it is important not to delay the visit to the doctor.
What Will the Dentist Do?
First of all, the doctor will examine the affected tooth and send you to be X-rayed in order to determine the nature and extent of the injury. On the basis of the results the dentist will make the decision about the method of tooth restoration. If the tooth has suffered slightly, it will be sufficient to carry out the grinding and polishing of tooth surface to eliminate sharp edges of the chip. In some cases, the crack has to be filled. In cases of significant injury to a tooth which affected the roots and/or alveolar processes (a part of the jaw), the tooth is removed and then subjected to the prosthetics. This can be an installation of the implant or similar means.
Note!In case of partial preservation of the tooth walls, dentists build up the tooth with photopolymer materials. Sometimes they place the crown on the damage tooth.
In some cases, especially if the tooth damage is concerned with the aesthetics, it is advisable to carry out the so-called aesthetic restoration of the tooth.
What Is the Aesthetic Restoration of Teeth and What Are its Advantages?
The aim of aesthetic restoration is to reproduce the natural form of dentition, preserving the unique properties of your teeth: color, transparency, shine and structure. For the aesthetic restoration, doctors use modern composite materials, the advantage of which is simplicity, reliability and high speed in the application (the restoration of one tooth takes 30–60 minutes). In the process of restoration, except for eliminating the fracture of the tooth, the dentist:
- removes carious processes;
- removes pathological abrasion of dental tissues;
- aligns the teeth;
- eliminates chips or reversals of teeth;
- removes old, defective fillings;
- eliminates the problem of too big or too small gaps between teeth.
By way of summing up, it should be noted that after the injury the tooth must not be ignored. If a piece of tooth broke off at gum line (or in any other place), you must urgently consult your doctor – then you can avoid infection of the wound, re-injury of the tissues of the tooth and gums, development of various inflammatory processes, and most importantly – you will have the chance to restore it, and in the case of aesthetic restoration you will able to improve the appearance of the dentition. Take care of yourselves and your teeth!