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How are broken teeth fixed and treated?

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Quick Answer

Dentists use different methods to fix broken teeth depending on the location and severity of the break, according to WebMD. Smaller breaks might require only one visit to repair. Larger breaks could require multiple visits.

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Full Answer

If only a small piece of enamel chips off, the dentist might use a simple filling, states WebMD. If the chip is on a front tooth, the dentist might use bonding. Bonding is done by roughening the tooth with a liquid or gel, applying an adhesive, and then adding and shaping a bonding material. Once the material is properly shaped, it is hardened by exposure to an ultraviolet light. These techniques can usually be done in a single office visit.

If a large piece of the tooth is broken off, the dentist might replace the crown of the tooth with an artificial crown. This is done by grinding off the remaining natural crown and covering the top of the tooth with a tooth-shaped cap made of plain metal, porcelain fused over metal, resin or ceramic, explains WebMD. If the root is still intact but the rest of the tooth breaks off, a dentist might perform a root canal procedure, and then place a pin or post in the canal that supports a crown. Having a crown applied usually requires more than one trip to the dentist.

WebMD advises a person see a dentist as soon as possible after noticing a tooth is chipped or broken. A broken or chipped tooth can suffer further damage, possibly causing the loss of the tooth. If experiencing pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Cover the sharp edge of a broken or chipped tooth with a bit of sugarless gum or some wax paraffin, and avoid biting down on a broken tooth.

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