If you have a broken tooth, you need an expert to fix the damage. Dr. Nealis offers expert restorative treatment and same-day emergency appointments at his practice in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, IL, and sees patients from surrounding areas such as The Loop, Gold Coast, Near North Side, River West, River North, Magnificent Mile, Ukranian Village, Uptown, Bucktown, and Old Town, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and West Town.
Broken Tooth Q&A
What can cause a tooth to break?
Teeth are extremely strong and protected by enamel, but they can chip, crack or break entirely. Teeth can break due to:
- Biting down on something hard
- Getting hit in the face
- Falling down
- Weakness because of cavities or decay
- Large amalgam fillings that won’t support your tooth’s enamel
- Tooth contacts that interfere with the natural function of teeth which is called “occlusion”.
Do broken teeth hurt?
Broken teeth can be painful, but that’s not always the case. The patient’s tongue may discover a sharp area in his or her mouth before discomfort or pain is noticed. If a large piece of tooth breaks off, it is more likely to hurt since there is a better chance the nerves inside the tooth will be damaged or exposed to air, food and drink. The pain may come and go periodically or it can be constant. Patients may experience more pain when chewing since that action puts pressure on the teeth.
How will the tooth be repaired?
It depends on the type of break the tooth has suffered. Cracked teeth can sometimes be repaired with a filling or a crown. Minor chips can often be repaired with a simple filling that makes the tooth look better and prevents the chip from worsening. Larger chips often require a more durable material such as what is used to make a crown or onlay. If a break exposes the nerve, a root canal will be needed to remove the exposed nerve prior to placement of a crown to restore the tooth to normal function. If a tooth has split into the root, the tooth will usually require extraction and placement of either an implant or a fixed bridge.