Campbell Dental Emergency – Fractured Tooth

A fractured tooth is an unpleasant experience that can lead to a dental emergency visit. Symptoms may include pain when biting or chewing, temperature sensitivity, spontaneous pain, throbbing, or swelling. Some fractured teeth are easy to identify especially when a large portion of the tooth is missing. Other fractures may only be identified through dental x-rays and diagnostic tests. A small fracture that is not visible may open and close with biting pressure and cause discomfort. Residents of the city of Campbell can visit Dr. Antonious at his nearby office for the diagnosis and treatment of any dental emergency.

Causes of Fractured Teeth

A dental emergency such as trauma, a blow to the mouth, an automobile accident, or a sports related injury, are common causes of fractured teeth. Bruxism (clinching and grinding) may also cause damage to teeth including fractures. An occlusal or night guard may be prescribed to treat bruxism. Athletic mouth guards are worn to prevent dental fractures while engaging in sports.

Teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy may become brittle and more susceptible to fracture if a cap or crown is not placed over the tooth. Existing restorations such as large silver amalgam fillings may also over time cause teeth to weaken and fracture.

Chewing hard substances like ice, candy, or nuts may cause cracked teeth. Teeth should never be used to open objects like bottles and packages because this too can cause a tooth to fracture, and lead to a dental emergency visit.

Treatment for Fractured Teeth

Fillings: Campbell patients may have minor fractures treated with bonded white composite fillings. Pins are sometimes used to add strength to bonded fillings. A composite filling material shade will be selected to match the surrounding natural teeth.

Root Canal: If the nerve of a tooth has been damaged due to a fracture, a root canal may be possible to save the tooth and prevent further discomfort. After anesthetic is administered, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and the nerve and blood vessels are removed. The canal and access area can then be filled. A crown may be recommended to provide added strength.

Extraction: If a tooth fracture is severe and cannot be restored, an extraction may be necessary. There are several options available for Campbell patients to replace a missing tooth. These options include a crown placed over a dental implant, a cemented fixed bridge, and a removable partial denture.

Crown or Veneer: A crown or veneer is used to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by a large restoration, root canal therapy, or a fracture. Once fabricated, a crown or veneer is cemented over a tooth. Several materials are available including gold, but many people prefer a tooth colored veneer or crown for cosmetic purposes.

Campbell residents should consider a fractured tooth to be a dental emergency and treat it as such. A dental examination should be scheduled as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Modern dental technology provides many solutions to prevent and treat dental emergencies including fractured teeth.