Broken or Chipped Tooth or teeth

Crunching ice or a boiled lolly, or accidentally bitten a fork and noticed something hard in your mouth that doesn't melt or dissolve; only to get that sick feeling as you realise what it is? A piece of broken or chipped tooth.

Though the enamel that covers your teeth is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body, its strength has limits. Falling, receiving a blow to the face, or biting down on something hard -- particularly if a tooth already has some decay -- can cause a tooth to chip or break. There are many things we can do to fix it. If your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, we suggest you seek dental treatment as soon as possible – as otherwise your tooth could be damaged or further infected, which may lead you to end up losing the tooth.

Treatment for a broken or chipped tooth will depend on how severely it is damaged. If only a small piece of enamel broke off, the repair can usually be done simply in one office visit. A badly damaged or broken tooth may require a more lengthy and costly procedure. If you have chipped off just a small piece of tooth enamel, we may repair the damage with a filling. If the repair is to a front tooth or can be seen when you smile, likely a procedure called bonding will be undertaken, which uses a tooth-coloured composite resin. Bonding is a simple procedure that typically does not require numbing the tooth for smaller fragments.

  1. To bond a tooth, the dentist first etches its surface with a liquid to roughen it and make the bonding material adhere to it.
  2. Next, the dentist applies an adhesive material to the tooth, followed by the bonding material.
  3. After shaping the bonding material to look like a natural tooth, the dentist uses an ultraviolet light to harden the material.

If a large piece of tooth breaks off or the tooth has a lot of decay, a crown, or tooth-shaped cap, may need to be used. This is made to protect the tooth and may also improve its appearance. Permanent crowns can be made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, all resin, or all ceramic. Different types have different benefits so it's recommended that you discuss your options with your dentist. If the entire top of the tooth is broken off but the root is still intact, and root canal treated, Adelaide Emergency Dental can often place a post in the root and build up enough of a structure onto which a crown can be made.

Contact Adelaide Emergency Dental today on 0437 733 350.