By Dr. Premendra Goyal, Dentistry,
A broken or a chipped tooth can occur either due to calcium deficiency or from sustaining a physical injury. Broken tooth may be of different types such as craze lines (hairline vertical cracks on the teeth), fractured cusp (a break in a small portion of the chewing surface of the tooth), split tooth (cracked tooth) and vertical root fracture (type of a tooth fracture, either partial or complete).
A broken or chipped tooth can be repaired by using different methods depending on the severity of the broken tooth and the patient’s requirement. The most common ways of repairing a chipped tooth include:
- Dental Bonding: The chipped tooth is roughened and a conditioning liquid is applied followed by putty (a cover or a seal). After this, it is moulded and smoothened before it is hardened using UV rays.
- Dental Cap: On the chipping of a large part of the tooth, the remaining is filed away by the dentist following which, the gap is filled using a dental cap or a crown to protect the remaining bit and enhance the appearance.
- Veneers: A veneer is a type of porcelain covering that skilfully covers the broken or chipped tooth, bettering the appearance of the smile. Dental veneers are often used in case a large part of the tooth is broken.
- Root Canal: This method is used in case the crack has extended into the pulp of the tooth. The broken tooth and the nerve are permanently removed and the gap is filled by a crown. This is a rather painful method which most certainly would require local anaesthesia.
- Dental Implant: This method is preferred once the crack extends into the gum-line. The broken tooth can no longer be repaired and whatever is left of it, is pulled out. Following this, the gap is replaced by a surgical fixture known as a dental implant.