Teeth are extremely strong and protected by enamel, but they can chip, crack or break entirely. Teeth can break due to:
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.
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.
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