What is a broken tooth?

For many, a broken tooth is indeed far more serious than it looks. It’s a condition that can actually have pretty devastating long term side effects if the damage isn’t repaired, as while on the outside, it might seem like ‘just’ a broken tooth, it’s actually a great deal more.

Indeed, the biggest problem with a tooth injury is that it exposes the roots. With the interior of the tooth being exposed to bacteria, you run the risk of catching an infection and possibly an abscess forming. Because of this, treatment for a broken tooth is normally essential, even if initially you feel no pain.

The reason that it’s important to get a broken / fractured tooth looked at is because of the fact that eventually, the tooth might become highly uncomfortable when exposed to saliva, air, as well as hot and cold foods. The important thing to remember is that if the tooth is broken, whenever possible; save the pieces and visit your dentist immediately. It might sound surprising, but dentists can re-attach the fragments and possibly save the tooth.

For many, a root canal treatment is necessary after a breakage because of the fact that infection sets in quickly. While in children, it might be possible to save the interior of the tooth, for many adults, the safest thing for the dentist to do is to clean out the tooth to ensure that no abscesses or infections can form in the interior. After the process, he’ll put a new ‘cap’ or crown on the tooth making the repair seem almost invisible.

Fortunately, for those who can’t get to a dentist quickly, it is actually possible to temporarily seal the breakage until you get to a dentist, as many pharmacies now stock temporary dental cement which can be used to seal the tooth until you can see a dentist. There are many tales of using superglue, but this should be avoided at ALL costs due to the fact that super glue contains many chemicals which are indeed hazardous.

Normally, breakages which don’t penetrate the dentine of the teeth such as chips are pretty easy to repair with just a normal dental filling. For more serious cracks, a dentist will try to repair the tooth by sealing the crack and then fitting a crown to ensure that the crack remains stable.

In rare cases, a broken tooth will need to be completely removed. While cracked teeth / chipped teeth can normally be saved, vertical splits, decayed teeth that have broken as well as molars that have split will need to be treated with extraction or partial extraction. While for the majority of cases a root canal treatment will save teeth, unfortunately if the break is too severe or extends to the root, there is nothing the dentist can do.

For many, a broken tooth might seem like a disaster if only for cosmetic reasons. Luckily, most of these breakages are easily repairable if they visit the dentist quickly. Just like any other breakage, a broken tooth exposes your body to the risk of infection and as a result, it’s important to try and get the problem repaired as quickly as possible.

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