Fractures come in many forms. Let's take a moment to consider the different treatments available for tooth fractures. We'll start with treatments for minor fractures and work up to treatments for severe fractures.
When a fracture is solely cosmetic in nature and the underlying tooth structure is stable and intact, the ideal treatment option is dental bonding. Dental bonding uses tooth-colored resin that is painted onto the chipped or cracked portion of the tooth. This resin is carefully polished to mimic the appearance of your natural tooth structure. Once the treatment is completed, a patient's smile will look completely natural and repaired.
For more serious fractures that are still predominantly cosmetic in nature, the ideal treatment options is a porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of dental ceramic that are adhered to the fronts of the teeth. When in place, the porcelain veneer masks imperfections from view, blending in with the underlying structure of the tooth and the surrounding teeth. With porcelain veneers on, a patient's smile will appear pristine and perfect.
For fractures that affect the structure of a tooth, cosmetic treatments are no longer viable. A restorative measure must be taken. For minor fractures that affect tooth structure, dental fillings are an ideal option. These are the same kinds of restorations that are used to fix tooth decay. Metal fillings or tooth-colored fillings may be used to rebuild and replace the compromised tooth structure.
When a dental filling is not enough to restore the structure of a damaged tooth, the next best option is an inlay or an onlay. Inlays and onlays function like dental fillings, but they are able to restore more of a tooth's structure. Inlays and onlays are able to rebuild the cusps (biting surfaces) of a tooth if needed. As with fillings, tooth-colored and metal inlays and onlays can be used depending on the recommendations of the dentist.
When a tooth is severely fractured, the last resort to save the tooth is a dental crown. A dental crown is a cap that is placed on a tooth that has been severely damaged. The crown protects the tooth from further harm and allows a person to bite and chew again without experiencing sensitivity or discomfort. Metal or tooth-colored crowns can be used as needed.
If a tooth is too seriously damaged for cosmetic or restorative treatment, the best option is typically an extraction. This will prevent potential infection of the tooth and more serious dental problems and issues with general wellness. If a tooth is extracted, options for replacement can be discussed, such as a dental bridge or a crown supported by a dental implant.
If you would like more information about treating tooth fractures and addressing other dental health concerns, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Southwind Dental Care is here to help you smile with renewed confidence.
I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.