With all the stressors of today’s world, broken teeth are common. Whether your broken teeth are due to grinding from stress or an accident, many people have to contend with broken teeth in their lifetime. There are other reasons for broken teeth, too, like
- Biting down on non-food items
- Bitting down on too hard of food like ice and popcorn kernels
- Grinding due to a jaw imbalance from TMJ disorder
- Fillings too large for your tooth
- Missing teeth that cause another tooth to bear too much bite force
- Tooth decay
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Eating disorders or excessive alcohol use
- Sugar overindulgence
Whatever the reason for your broken teeth, don’t worry. We can fix your broken teeth, so you’re looking and feeling good as new. (Make sure to read all the way through to get some tips to prevent broken teeth, too!)
My Tooth is Broken. What Should I Do?
The first thing is first, make sure to prevent more damage to your mouth by covering the sharp edge of your tooth with a piece of wax or sugarless gum. If you’re feeling pain, take over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen and rinse your mouth with saltwater. If you have to eat before making it to your Columbia, SC dentist, try to eat soft foods and don’t bite down on your broken tooth.
Most importantly, make an appointment with Dr. Adam Hahn right away. The sooner we can fix your broken tooth, the less likely you will damage it further and damage other teeth.
Dental Filling: Composite, Inlays, Onlays
A dental filling is a pretty common term that you’ve likely heard of. A dental filling is an artificial material that your Columbia dentist adheres to your broken tooth to restore the tooth’s structure and cover an exposed root. After your dental filling, your pain will be gone, and you’ll be able to eat and drink whatever you’d like without further injury to your tooth. There are a few types of fillings, but at Smile Columbia Dentistry, we offer fillings using durable materials that won’t potentially harm the rest of your body.
Composite fillings are a better alternative to the traditional metal fillings of the past. In fact, they are superior to metal fillings in many ways. Composite fillings will restore the functionality of your tooth to normal because they’re not temperature sensitive like metal fillings. Additionally, composite fillings match the color of your teeth, and the bond between the filling and your tooth is more secure, so the risk of bacteria entering your filled tooth is reduced.
Composite fillings are a one-day treatment, don’t contain any heavy metals, and expand and contract at the same rate as your natural tooth.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are less common terms. They are ceramic tooth-colored fillings. An inlay is a filling that fits in the curved part of your tooth’s biting surface, and an onlay is a larger filling that covers your tooth’s biting surface and spills over the edges of your tooth but doesn’t reach your gumline. Inlays and Onlays have benefits to other types of fillings.
- Reduced sensitivity when chewing due to their strength
- Wear out more slowly than metal and composite fillings
- Don’t allow food or bacteria to accumulate on the edges of the filling
- Match the true luster of your teeth
Do I Need a Filling?: Dental fillings are ideal for those with minor damage to their tooth or who have just had a root canal. If your damage is extensive and runs to your gum line, you’ll need another type of treatment to fix your broken tooth.
A dental crown is a cap that covers the entirety of your tooth from the biting surface down the gum line. Dental crowns can be tooth-colored materials like ceramic or porcelain, or they can be precious metals or porcelain fused to metal. If you’re looking to have a long-lasting crown that looks like your natural teeth, we recommend going with a fully ceramic or porcelain crown. Porcelain fused to metal crowns can be an excellent option for price-sensitive people, but they may lose their luster after a time, and the metal will eventually show through.
Dental crowns usually take two appointments. At your first appointment, Dr. Hahn will consult with you on what type of crown is best for your smile goals and budget. Next, if you’re getting a tooth-colored crown, he will match the color of your teeth and send your crown off the lab to be made. In the meantime, you’ll get a temporary crown to protect your broken tooth until your permanent one arrives. Another benefit of a dental crown is it will cover your entire tooth, meaning if your tooth is stained, it will no longer appear so.
Do I Need a Crown? Dental crowns fix a wide range of tooth damage. If you have cracked teeth, chipped teeth, worn teeth, teeth weakened by decay or large fillings, or a tooth infection after a root canal, a dental crown could be the best option for you.
Dental veneers or porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that cover the front of your tooth. While we say “porcelain,” we mean a high-grade advanced ceramic tooth-colored material that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s durable, long-lasting, and compatible with your body. With proper care and a skilled cosmetic dentist like Dr. Hahn, porcelain veneers can last 20 years.
Porcelain veneers typically take two visits to your Columbia, SC, dentist. During your first appointment, Dr. Hahn will take impressions of your teeth, match your tooth color, and send your information to the lab to create your veneers. At your second and final appointment, your water-thin porcelain veneers bond to your tooth or teeth.
Many people view porcelain veneers as a complete smile makeover. Due to their versatility, they can hide your broken teeth as well as stains, crooked teeth, grabbed teeth, misshapen teeth, and receding gums.
Do I Need Porcelain Veneers?: You’d be a candidate for porcelain veneers if you’re looking to correct damage like chips, cracks, or worn teeth. But again, veneers will also repair other problems like crookedness, yellow teeth, spotted teeth, misshapen teeth, gapped teeth, and receding gums.
Preventing Tooth Damage
The best thing you can do is to protect your teeth from damage. While our options to repair broken teeth are simple and look like your natural teeth, they’ll never be the same. The best thing to do is keep your natural teeth healthy for as long as possible. Here are some tips on preventing tooth damage.
- Brush your teeth twice per day, floss once per day, and visit your Columbia dentist twice yearly. By keeping a good oral hygiene routine, you’ll decrease your chances of infection and gum disease that could lead to cracked teeth.
- Seek to reduce the stress in your life that could be leading to your teeth grinding.
- Get TMJ treatment.
- Don’t bite down on non-food items or foods that are too hard for your teeth.
- Replace missing teeth promptly.
- Wear a mouth guard if you’re going to be playing a sport where your teeth are at risk.
- Always choose an experienced cosmetic dentist like Dr. Hahn to work on your teeth.
Do You Have Broken Teeth in Columbia, SC?
If you have broken teeth, chipped teeth, or cracked teeth in Columbia, SC, contact Smile Columbia Dentistry today. Dr. Hahn will get your teeth fixed up in no time for long-lasting and beautiful results. Call (803) 781-9090 today or make an appointment online with Dr. Adam Hahn.