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How can chipped, cracked, or broken teeth be fixed?

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July 05, 2013 by

There are a number of ways to repair broken, chipped, or cracked teeth. Evaluation and determination for which treatment option is best for your case will need to be evaluated by a dental provider upon viewing x-rays and in-person oral examination. You can find information below about the treatments that are most commonly used to repair broken teeth.

Chipped Teeth

Teeth with minor chips can usually be fixed by cementing a composite filling in place to fill and smooth over the chip. The filling would color matched to your existing tooth to ensure its the natural feel and appearance. If the chip is large, a composite veneer, a porcelain veneer, or a dental crown can be used to restore the tooth.

Broken Teeth

Determining what can be done for a broken tooth depends greatly on the severity of the fracture and whether the tooth is abscessed of infected. However, broken teeth are most commonly repaired with a dental crown. Sometimes a root canal treatment and placement of a post into the tooth is necessary in addition to the crown - this is done in order to provide enough structure and strength for the tooth to be properly restored.

If the tooth is broken below the gumline or is too weak to be crowned, it may not be possible to save. In this case, the tooth would need to be extracted and replaced with either a dental implant, a bridge, or a partial denture.

Cracked Teeth

If the crack is minor, it can be repaired with either a filling, a composite veneer, a porcelain veneer, or a crown.

If the crack is large but does not extend up into the root of the tooth or the gum, a crown may be used to repair the cracked tooth. Root canal treatment and placement of a post can be necessary to provide adequate structure and integrity to the restoration.

If the crack is severe and extends deep into the root of the tooth or into the gums, it may not be possible to save the tooth. If this is the case, the tooth would need to be extracted and replaced with either a dental implant, a bridge, or a partial denture.

Fractures & Tooth Infections

Cracks and fractures can extend far deeper into the tooth than is visible to the naked eye.  Hairline cracks often extend beyone the visible fracture and can imperil a permanent restoration. X-rays will need to be taken in order for the dentist to see the extent of the fracture and properly advise if the tooth is viable for restoration and what type of restoration can be performed.

Please note that chipped, cracked and broken teeth are high risk for infection - especially if the pulp of the tooth, the root, or the nerve is exposed. If the tooth is infected, a course of antibiotics may need to be taken to clear infection before the tooth can be restored and sealed with a filling, crown, or veneer. Root canal treatment may be required to prevent infection or to ensure that any present infection does not extend into the nerve, cause an abscess, or necessitate tooth extraction.

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This article is meant for information purposes only and is not intended to be dental advice or instructions for dental diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your dentist or a qualified dental professional before starting or changing dental treatment