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Preserving Your Smile with Treatment for Tooth Fractures

Dr. Degel Jan 8, 2017

Tooth FractureFractured teeth are one of the leading causes of tooth loss. In many cases, however, we can save a tooth by treating it as soon as possible. Putting off treatment is a more accurate cause of tooth loss. Only in severe cases do fractures necessitate tooth extraction. Our doctors offer a number of restorative dentistry treatments to improve your oral health. Learn more about treatments for tooth fractures at our Queens, NY dental practice.

What Causes Tooth Fractures?

Trauma is the number one cause of cracked and fractured teeth. Impact during sporting events can cause major damage to the teeth if a mouth guard is not worn. Car accidents and other traumatic events can also damage the teeth. Other causes may include:

  • Chronic teeth grinding
  • Large fillings
  • Malocclusion
  • Biting your fingernails or chewing on ice cubes

When to Seek Treatment for Tooth Fractures

You may not experience pain right away after a traumatic event, or the pain may come and go. This can lead to delayed treatment and can also make it difficult to identify the damaged tooth. If you experience pain when biting down or chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, or you are in constant pain, contact our office right away. Even if you are experiencing erratic tooth pain, we recommend scheduling an appointment. The sooner we can treat any damage, the greater chance we have at saving the tooth.

What Treatments Are Available?

The goal of treatment is to preserve as much of your tooth as possible. The particular treatment needed will depend on the location, type, and severity of the fracture.

  • Fractured Cusps: These generally occur when a metal filling is too large and expands in response to temperature changes. We can remove the old filling, and use composite resin, a tooth-colored material, in its place. The composite resin will not only replace the damaging amalgam filling, but it will also repair the fractured cusp. In some cases, an onlay may be needed to fully repair the damaged cusp.
  • Cracked Teeth: When cracks extend vertically down the crown of the tooth, more extensive treatments are needed. Generally, dental crowns can repair more moderate tooth cracks and fractures. These custom-made restorations fit snugly over the tooth, providing strength and reinforcement while preventing further damage.
  • Split Teeth and Vertical Root Fractures: When fractures reach the pulp of the tooth or begin at the root, root canal therapy is usually needed, followed by a dental crown. The root canal treatment eliminates any infection the fracture may have caused and the crown helps to stabilize the tooth.

When Is an Extraction Needed?

In some cases, extraction is required to prevent damage to nearby teeth. Split teeth most commonly need extraction. We generally reserve extraction as a last-resort method if other treatments are unsuccessful. However, for patients who neglect to seek treatment in a timely manner, extraction may be necessary from the start.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you have suffered a traumatic injury to your face or mouth, you should contact us to schedule an appointment, even if you are not currently in any pain.

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Astoria, NY 11106

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