We all want a perfect smile, but sometimes dental emergencies happen. Often, teeth can become damaged from an accident or other trauma, like a sports injury.
At Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Fait and our dedicated team are here to cover all of your dental care needs, including dental emergencies like fractured or broken teeth. And so you understand the difference between the two, we’ve compiled this helpful guide about fractured teeth vs. broken teeth.
Treating a fractured tooth
A fractured, or chipped tooth, is a tooth that’s only slightly broken. In many cases, you may notice that a corner of your tooth breaks off. Teeth can become fractured due to many reasons, including:
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Fillings that are too large
- Biting or chewing hard foods like hard candy, ice, or nuts
- A car accident or a physical altercation
- Age and weakened enamel
Sometimes you may not be able to see a fractured tooth. In this case, you can usually tell that your tooth is fractured if you experience symptoms like pain, especially when chewing or biting, swelling in your gums, and sensitivity to heat, cold, and sweetness.
To diagnose a cracked tooth we usually take an X-ray. Once we’ve confirmed your fractured tooth, we proceed with treatment.
We offer a few options for treating fractured teeth. You may opt for bonding, which is filling in the fracture or crack in your tooth by using a hard, white resin. You can also choose to cover your fractured tooth with a crown, a hollow covering that goes over your tooth. A crown is formed to mimic your natural tooth.
Treating a broken tooth
A broken tooth is dangerous because when your tooth breaks completely it leaves the pulp and sensitive nerves inside exposed. This can lead to pain, irritation, swelling of your gums, and serious infection.
Fixing a broken tooth is even more important than treating a chipped tooth. This is because an infection in your tooth can travel to your brain. And, research shows that this can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
When your tooth breaks, you’ll want to come in for a dental emergency right away. Bring with you as much of your broken tooth as you can find. If your pulp is infected, we’ll perform a root canal. Afterward, we attach a crown over your tooth to keep it protected.
For more information on broken and fractured teeth, schedule a consultation with our team Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry by calling our office or by booking online.