Did you know that your teeth are protected by the most resilient substance your body produces? Teeth are also the most-used parts of your body, and are constantly subjected to the pressures of biting and chewing.
Though strong, teeth can become weak from inadequate hygiene, or suffer structural damage from accidental trauma, and repairing them is vital to your continued good oral health. Today, we explain the process of fixing tooth fractures, and what to do if a tooth is damaged beyond saving.
Clean on the Inside
The inside of a healthy tooth consists of nerves and blood vessels housed inside of a chamber called the pulp. The tooth’s main structure, called dentin, and the protective layer of tooth enamel that surrounds it protect the pulp from infectious oral bacteria. If a tooth fracture is severe enough to expose the pulp, then root canal treatment can clean away bacteria and infected tissue before the tooth’s external structure is repaired.
Once the tooth’s interior is cleaned, a dental crown can be placed over the tooth to restore its ability to function and protect it from further damage. Depending on the location of the tooth and the patient’s specific needs, a dental crown can consist of lifelike zirconia, porcelain, metal, or a combination of both (porcelain-fused-to-metal).
Worst-Case Tooth Fractures
If a cracked tooth becomes severely infected, or if the tooth fracture reaches the root, then saving the tooth might not be an option. In worst-case scenarios, the tooth will require extraction and replacement. To replace the tooth, your dentist may suggest a dental implant, which is surgically inserted into the jawbone where the tooth was once secured.
By replacing the lost tooth root, a dental implant offers unmatched stability for a prosthetic dental crown, and can help maintain your smile’s health, strength, and integrity in the long run.