Cracked or broken teeth usually happen at inconvenient times, and often when you bite into something hard. While the damage to your teeth may not be severe, it’s certainly something you don’t want to ignore. An unrepaired crack or chip can lead to tooth decay down the road, and more extensive dental work.
Here, the skilled dental team at Dental Studios — serving the communities of Summit and Westfield, New Jersey — explains some options for fixing a cracked or broken tooth. When you come to see us, we recommend the best treatment for your individual circumstances.
Veneers fix chips and cracks
One of the great things about dental veneers is their versatility. These thin porcelain shells adhere to the fronts of your teeth and effectively fix a variety of common dental problems, including chips and cracks. Veneers add strength to a broken tooth while simultaneously restoring its shape to match your other teeth.
You can get one veneer or several, depending on your needs. They’re an attractive way to repair a chip or crack, and veneers can even brighten your teeth to a more luminous shade of white.
Inlays and onlays fix cracks in a tooth’s chewing surface
If you have a broken or fractured tooth, your dentist at Dental Studios may recommend an inlay or onlay. Inlays and onlays restore a damaged tooth so you don’t need a crown. Crowns cover your entire tooth — which may be an option if your tooth is severely broken — but inlays and onlays only cover the broken part of the tooth.
Inlays, which fix the surface of a tooth, and onlays, which fix the damage on a larger portion of a tooth, are typically tooth-colored materials, so the restoration matches your surrounding teeth. Your dentist customizes the inlay or onlay you need to help strengthen the damaged tooth and prevent future decay or damage.
Crowns protect a severely damaged tooth
While veneers cover just the front surface of your tooth, and inlays and onlays cover just a portion of your cracked or broken tooth, crowns fit completely over the tooth to protect it. If you have a tooth that’s susceptible to chipping or cracking, a custom crown fits securely over your natural tooth and protects it from further damage.
Depending on where in your mouth you need a crown, you can get one made of:
- Porcelain fused to metal
- Stainless steel
Ceramic crowns look most like your natural teeth, and your dentist matches them in size, shape, and color. Ceramic and porcelain crowns reflect light most like natural tooth enamel, so they can blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. However, if you have a broken or cracked tooth in the back of your mouth, you may choose stainless steel, gold, or another type of alloy for its durability.
Most cracked or broken teeth aren’t considered dental emergencies, but you shouldn’t put off getting them fixed. Veneers, inlays, onlays, and crowns can restore your teeth to their full function and help improve your oral health for years to come.
If you have a chipped or broken tooth, call the Dental Studios office closest to you to make an appointment. You can also schedule an appointment online anytime, day or night.