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Prestwich Dental Clinic

Broken Teeth

Find out below how we can fix broken teeth.

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Have You Broken a Tooth?

If you have a broken tooth, don’t panic! Help is on hand. Teeth can break due to a number of reasons, tooth decay being the most common, but tooth clenching, grinding and trauma can also cause teeth to break. The treatment will depend on how much tooth tissue is lost. At Love-Teeth Dental Practice, we pride ourselves on saving teeth wherever possible, as each tooth that is lost can have negative consequences on the rest of the mouth, with teeth moving into spaces or drifting down into a space. Call our caring team on 0161 773 7080 today.

Repairing Broken Teeth

Occasionally teeth may split from front to back, showing a distinctive black line through the tooth. When this occurs there is little alternative but to remove the tooth, however, our team will always provide you with all treatment options that are suitable, ensuring you are fully aware of each treatment process.

Chipped Teeth

If you have a chipped tooth, other damage or white fillings, there are a number of ways of solving this problem. The chipped area could be repaired with a bonding material. The tooth could be prepared and a crown made to protect the tooth underneath. Another option may be a veneer which is fixed to the front of the tooth and provides a natural-looking appearance.

Dental Maintenance Plans

We offer a comprehensive membership plan which provides many benefits as well as 20% off treatment* and starts from as little as £9.99/month adults/£5.99/month children – please ask at reception or call us at 0161 773 7080

Broken Teeth – Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I break a tooth?

Immediate Steps

Rinse with warm water:

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any debris.

Apply cold compress:

Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the area to reduce swelling and discomfort.

Take pain medication:

Take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, to help manage the pain.

Apply pressure if bleeding:

If you're bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth.

Seek Professional Help

Contact your dentist:

Contact your dentist immediately and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Broken teeth are considered dental emergencies, and prompt treatment is essential.

Emergency dental care:

If you cannot reach your dentist, visit an emergency dentist or your local hospital's accident and emergency department.

Tooth Preservation

Save the broken piece:

If a part of your tooth has broken off, try to find and save the piece. Rinse it off with water and keep it moist by storing it in a clean container with milk or saliva until you can see your dentist.

Handling a knocked-out tooth:

If the entire tooth has been knocked out, handle it by the crown (the top part) and avoid touching the root. Rinse it off with water and try to reinsert it into the socket, being careful not to swallow it. If you cannot reinsert it, store it in milk or saliva until you can see your dentist. Acting quickly and seeking professional dental care is crucial when you break a tooth. This will help prevent further damage, relieve pain, and increase the chances of successfully repairing or restoring the broken tooth.

Signs of a Cracked Tooth

Pain when biting:

Sharp, erratic discomfort that occurs when applying or releasing pressure on the tooth

Sensitivity to temperature:

Pain or discomfort triggered by consuming hot or cold foods and drinks

Intact appearance:

No visible signs of damage or missing tooth structure, making detection challenging

Intermittent pain:

Discomfort that comes and goes, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the issue

Signs of a Broken Tooth

Visible damage:

Chipped, cracked, or missing portions of the tooth that are easily noticeable

Uneven surface:

Rough or jagged edges on the tooth that can be felt with the tongue or cause discomfort

Pain when pressure is applied:

Discomfort or sensitivity experienced when biting down or chewing

Sensitivity to various stimuli:

Pain triggered by consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks

Diagnosis and Treatment

Prompt dental visit:

Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect a cracked or broken tooth

Comprehensive evaluation:

Your dentist will perform a thorough examination, including X-rays or other diagnostic tests, to assess the extent of the damage

Personalized treatment plan:

Treatment options will be tailored to the severity of the crack or break, and may include fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, or extraction and replacement with a dental implant or bridge If you experience any persistent or severe pain, swelling, or discomfort, it's crucial to seek professional dental care promptly. Timely treatment can prevent further damage, relieve pain, and potentially save the affected tooth.

Minor Breaks and Chips

Tooth-coloured filling:

For small chips or cracks, your dentist may use a tooth-coloured filling material to restore the tooth's shape and function.

Dental bonding:

This process involves applying a tooth-coloured resin to the affected area and hardening it with a special light, effectively bonding the material to the tooth.

Moderate Breaks

Dental crown:

If a significant portion of the tooth is damaged, a dental crown (cap) may be recommended. The remaining tooth is prepared, and a custom-made crown is placed over it to restore its shape, strength, and appearance.

Dental veneers:

For breaks or chips affecting the front teeth, a thin shell (veneer) can be bonded to the tooth's surface to enhance its appearance and protect the remaining tooth structure.

Severe Breaks

Root canal treatment:

If the break extends into the pulp (inner core) of the tooth, root canal treatment may be necessary to remove the damaged pulp and prevent infection before restoring the tooth with a crown.

Extraction and replacement:

In cases of severe damage or infection, removal of the remaining tooth may be required. The extracted tooth can then be replaced with a dental implant, bridge, or denture, depending on your specific situation and preferences. Your dentist will assess the extent of the damage and recommend the most suitable treatment option to restore your tooth's function, appearance, and oral health. With proper care and maintenance, repaired teeth can last for many years.

Minor Chips and Cracks

Tooth-coloured filling:

Small chips or cracks can often be repaired with a tooth-coloured filling material, which is bonded to the remaining tooth structure.

Dental bonding:

This involves applying a tooth-coloured resin to the affected area and hardening it with a special light, effectively bonding the material to the tooth.

Moderate Breaks

Dental crown:

If a significant portion of the tooth is damaged, a dental crown (cap) may be recommended. The remaining tooth is prepared, and a custom-made crown is placed over it to restore its shape, strength, and appearance.

Dental veneer:

For breaks or chips affecting the front teeth, a thin shell (veneer) can be bonded to the tooth's surface to enhance its appearance and protect the remaining tooth structure.

Severe Breaks or Tooth Loss

Root canal therapy:

If the break extends into the pulp (inner core) of the tooth, root canal treatment may be necessary to remove the damaged pulp and prevent infection before restoring the tooth with a crown.

Extraction and replacement:

In cases of severe damage or infection, removal of the remaining tooth may be required. The extracted tooth can then be replaced with a dental implant, bridge, or denture, depending on your specific situation and preferences.

Emergency Treatment

Temporary reattachment:

If a piece of the tooth has broken off, your dentist may be able to temporarily reattach it using a tooth-coloured adhesive until a more permanent solution can be provided.

Pain management:

In cases of severe pain or swelling, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or pain medication to alleviate discomfort until the underlying issue can be addressed. The key to successful treatment is seeking prompt dental care and following your dentist's recommendations. With the right treatment plan, your broken tooth can be restored, preserving your oral health and allowing you to regain a confident, functional smile.

Pain and Discomfort

Exposure of inner tooth layers:

A broken tooth can expose the inner layers of the tooth, including the dentin and pulp, leading to severe pain and sensitivity.

Irritation to soft tissues:

The jagged edges of the broken tooth can cut or irritate the tongue, cheeks, and gums, causing further discomfort and potential infection.

Infection Risk

Bacterial infiltration:

An untreated broken tooth can allow bacteria to enter the pulp chamber, potentially leading to an infection or abscess.

Spread of infection:

Infections can spread to other areas of the mouth or even the face, causing swelling, fever, and other serious complications.

Nerve Damage

Damage to pulp tissue:

If the break extends deep enough into the tooth, it can damage or expose the nerve tissue within the pulp chamber.

Potential for root canal or extraction:

Exposed or damaged nerve tissue can lead to intense pain and may require root canal treatment or even extraction if not addressed promptly.

Cosmetic Concerns

Impact on smile aesthetics:

A broken tooth can significantly impact your smile's appearance, affecting your confidence and self-esteem.

Benefits of prompt treatment:

Seeking immediate treatment can help prevent further damage and restore the tooth's natural look and function. While not all broken teeth require emergency treatment, it's crucial to have a dentist evaluate the extent of the damage as soon as possible. Prompt attention can alleviate pain, prevent infection, and increase the chances of saving the tooth or minimising further complications.

Trauma or Impact

Accidents and injuries:

Accidents, such as falls, sports injuries, or physical altercations, can result in direct trauma to the teeth, causing them to crack, chip, or break.

Biting on hard objects:

Biting down on hard objects like ice, nuts, or hard candy can exert excessive force on the teeth, leading to fractures or breaks.

Tooth Decay and Cavities

Weakened tooth structure:

Untreated tooth decay can weaken the tooth structure, making it more susceptible to cracking or breaking.

Progression of decay:

As decay progresses, it can create cavities or holes in the tooth, compromising its structural integrity.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Excessive pressure on teeth:

Grinding or clenching your teeth, particularly during sleep, can place excessive pressure on the teeth and cause them to crack or break over time.

Enamel wear and tear:

This condition, known as bruxism, can also wear down the tooth enamel, making the teeth more vulnerable to damage.

Aging and Weakened Teeth

Increased brittleness:

As teeth age, they can become more brittle and prone to cracking or breaking, especially if they have undergone extensive dental work or have existing fillings or crowns.

Medical factors:

Certain medical conditions or medications can also contribute to weakened teeth and an increased risk of breakage.

Improper Dental Work

Poorly executed treatments:

Poorly executed dental treatments, such as fillings or crowns, can create weak points in the tooth, making it more susceptible to fractures or breaks.

Importance of qualified professionals:

It's essential to seek treatment from qualified and experienced dental professionals to minimise the risk of iatrogenic (treatment-caused) tooth damage. By understanding the potential causes of broken teeth, you can take steps to protect your teeth, such as wearing protective mouth guards during sports, avoiding hard or sticky foods, and practicing good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay.

Exposed Dentin

Sensitivity and pain:

If the break exposes the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel), it can cause sensitivity and pain, especially when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.

Tubules and nerve endings:

The dentin contains tiny tubules that lead to the pulp chamber, allowing stimuli to reach the nerve endings and cause discomfort.

Pulp Exposure

Severe, persistent pain:

If the break extends into the pulp chamber (the innermost layer containing blood vessels and nerves), it can result in severe, persistent pain.

Highly sensitive nerves:

The exposed nerve endings in the pulp are highly sensitive, and even slight pressure or temperature changes can trigger intense pain.

Infection

Bacterial entry point:

A broken tooth can provide an entry point for bacteria, potentially leading to an infection within the pulp chamber or surrounding tissues.

Symptoms of infection:

Infections can cause throbbing pain, swelling, and increased sensitivity, making it challenging to eat, drink, or even open your mouth wide.

Jagged Edges

Irritation to soft tissues:

The sharp, jagged edges of a broken tooth can cut or irritate the tongue, cheeks, or gums, causing additional pain and discomfort.

Difficulty with oral functions:

This can make it difficult to speak, eat, or even swallow without experiencing pain. While not all broken teeth are painful, it's essential to seek prompt dental treatment to alleviate any discomfort and prevent further complications. Your dentist can provide appropriate pain management solutions and address the underlying issue to restore your tooth's function and integrity.

Soft and Cool Foods

Minimal chewing:

Stick to soft, cool foods that require minimal chewing, such as yogurt, pudding, smoothies, and soups.

Avoid hot or crunchy foods:

Avoid hot or crunchy foods, as they can cause pain and further damage to the broken tooth.

Liquid Diet

Temporary liquid diet:

If chewing is too painful, consider a temporary liquid diet consisting of nutritious shakes, broths, and thin soups.

Adequate nutrition:

Ensure you're getting adequate nutrients and calories while your tooth is being repaired.

Avoid Certain Foods

Sticky, chewy, or hard foods:

Steer clear of sticky, chewy, or hard foods that can get stuck in the broken tooth or exert pressure on it, such as candies, nuts, and crusty bread.

Temperature extremes:

Avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages, as they can cause sensitivity and pain.

Chew on the Opposite Side

Minimise discomfort:

When eating solid foods, chew on the side of your mouth opposite the broken tooth to minimise discomfort and prevent further damage.

Avoid biting too hard:

Be careful not to bite down too hard on the affected side, as this can cause additional pain.

Dental Wax or Temporary Filling

Temporary protection:

Your dentist may recommend using dental wax or a temporary filling material to cover the jagged edges of the broken tooth, providing some protection and relief while you wait for permanent treatment. Remember, a broken tooth requires prompt dental attention to address the underlying issue and restore proper function. While you can manage your diet temporarily, it's essential to seek professional treatment to avoid further complications and ensure you can enjoy a full range of foods again.

NHS Dental Charges

Subsidised costs:

If you're eligible for NHS dental treatment, the costs are subsidised and follow a standard fee structure.

Band 2 charges:

For a broken tooth requiring a filling, crown, or root canal treatment, the cost would fall under Band 2, which currently stands at £65.20 (as of May 2024).

Band 3 charges:

If the tooth needs to be extracted and replaced with a denture or bridge, the cost would fall under Band 3, which is £282.80 (as of May 2024).

Private Dental Treatment

Variable fees:

Private dental fees can vary significantly depending on the dentist, their location, and the specific treatment required.

Simple filling costs:

For a simple filling to repair a minor chip or crack, the cost can range from £50 to £200.

Dental crown costs:

A dental crown can cost anywhere from £500 to £1,200 or more, depending on the materials used and the complexity of the procedure.

Root canal treatment costs:

Root canal treatment can range from £300 to £1,000 or more, depending on the number of root canals involved and the tooth's location.

Dental implant costs:

If a broken tooth needs to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant, the cost can range from £2,000 to £3,000 or more, including the implant, abutment, and crown.

Additional Costs

Diagnostic tests:

If dental X-rays or other diagnostic tests are required, there may be additional charges.

Consultation fees:

Some private dental practices may also charge for consultations or emergency appointments. It's essential to discuss the estimated costs with your dentist and understand your treatment options, as well as any potential payment plans or dental insurance coverage you may have. Addressing a broken tooth promptly can prevent further damage and more expensive treatments in the long run.

Increased Pain and Sensitivity

Exposure of inner layers:

A broken tooth can expose the inner layers of the tooth, including the dentin and pulp, which can cause significant pain and sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages.

Irritation to soft tissues:

The jagged edges of the broken tooth can also irritate the tongue, cheeks, and gums, leading to further discomfort.

Risk of Infection

Bacterial entry point:

An untreated broken tooth can provide an entry point for bacteria, potentially leading to an infection within the pulp chamber or surrounding tissues.

Spread of infection:

If left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the mouth, face, or even the bloodstream, posing serious health risks.

Further Damage to the Tooth

Additional cracks or fractures:

Chewing or biting down on a broken tooth can cause additional cracks or fractures, potentially compromising the tooth's structural integrity further.

Increased difficulty and cost of repair:

This can make it more difficult and costly to repair the tooth in the future, and may even lead to the need for extraction.

Cosmetic Concerns

Impact on smile appearance:

A broken tooth can significantly impact the appearance of your smile, potentially affecting your confidence and self-esteem.

Benefits of prompt treatment:

Seeking prompt treatment can help restore the tooth's natural look and prevent further aesthetic issues. While it may be tempting to ignore a broken tooth, especially if it's not causing immediate pain, leaving it untreated can lead to more severe problems down the line. It's essential to consult with a dentist as soon as possible to evaluate the extent of the damage and receive appropriate treatment to preserve your oral health and prevent complications.
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