Fixing Fractured Teeth
Did you know that chipped teeth are teeth that undergo fractures? Our teeth have three layers: an outer layer, the enamel; a middle layer, the dentin; and the innermost layer, the pulp. The enamel is the hardest layer of the tooth and protects the dentin and the pulp. The dentin is a softer layer and when it is exposed it can cause tooth sensitivity. The pulp is the center of the tooth and the softest of the three layers. It contains the blood vessels, nerve, and connective tissue. Sometimes fractures are relatively small and not even noticeable. Other times fractures can be catastrophic to a tooth, resulting in the need for extraction.
If the fracture is small and the tooth is not sensitive, typically only the outer layer of tooth structure, the enamel, is lost. A larger fracture would involve the next part of the tooth, the dentin, and these fractures will usually cause some sensitivity to sweets and temperature.
Often times, a natural, undetectable dental bonding is a quick and cost-effective way to address chipped teeth. Bonding is a special resin (plastic) that is shaped to fit the chipped tooth and bonded to the surface of a damaged or unsightly tooth.
Tooth Fractures Involving Enamel & Dentin
Figure 1 shows a tooth that broke as a result of an accident. The fracture involved both layers of the tooth. Figure 2 shows a conservative bonding was placed on the tooth with several layers, as well as tints to closely emulate the neighboring tooth. No anesthesia was used and the patient walked out on the same day with her smile back! The next day her mother shared: “Please let Dr. Tara know that she is doing great, non-stop smiling, and had a great picture day yesterday for soccer.”
Figure 3 is another tooth that broke as a result of an accident. The initial bonding had lasted the patient over fifteen years. When she came into the office, her bonding had fallen off and she was ready for a replacement. After studying the neighboring tooth with photography, the broken tooth was rebuilt utilizing a similar protocol as Figure 2, and the patient walked out a couple of hours later smiling head to toe. Again, no anesthesia was necessary!
Bonding is the most conservative procedure to replace lost tooth structure as it is 100% additive. Materials today are excellent and can match nearly any shade of the tooth.
Do you have an old, discolored bonding that is in need of replacement?
Contact us at Hardin Advanced Dentistry today to request a private consultation!