A broken tooth has got to be one of the most annoying dental mishaps to deal with. Striking patients’ at the most inconvenient of times – going in to a meeting or while out for supper with friends – a broken tooth can come with a big dose of discomfort and annoyances like a jagged edge that your tongue seems to gloss up against constantly. Chipped or broken teeth account for the majority of unanticipated dental visits. Regularly the result of a crack in the tooth’s structure – repair of a broken tooth can be as simple as placing a tooth-colored filling or involve the placement of a crown to ensure that the tooth is restored to desired form and function.
Calgary Dentists at Metro Dental in the NW community of Harvest Hills explain that as we age our teeth become more prone to breaking; thanks to the effects of undiagnosed clenching and grinding, old silver fillings and root canaled teeth that did not have the added protection of a crown. Can biting in to a hard piece of food cause a tooth to break? Yes – but it’s not usually the food that’s the culprit, rather its ill-timed ability to reveal that the tooth was probably already compromised in some way. Amalgam (silver) fillings have been known to cause teeth to fracture because of their unique characteristic of expanding and contracting with different oral temperatures. Amalgam is a mixture of metals – one of which is mercury – and was once a popular filling material. One of the negatives about silver fillings is that they can expand – putting stress on the walls of a tooth and creating risk for breakage. It’s not uncommon for a patient to have a broken tooth that reveals a large silver filling, but no tooth structure around it – sure the filling has lasted a long time – but at the expense of the natural tooth.
The action of clenching and grinding can also cause teeth to break, as the action of grinding results in the tooth flexing abnormally and being at risk for chipping and breakage – but the good news is that Dr. Verena Lam and Dr. Jeff Chen of Metro Dental are able to provide patients with different options for restoring broken teeth. From placing tooth colored restorations such as white fillings or ceramic inlays and onlays, to restoring teeth to perfect form with porcelain crowns – a broken tooth can be quickly and beautifully made to look natural in just one appointment. Regardless of how your tooth broke – today’s cosmetic dental procedures are able to restore a smile and strengthen damaged teeth.
If you suspect that you clench and grind your teeth or play a sport that puts your teeth at risk of breaking – discuss the option of a night or sports guard with your Calgary Dentist.