Gum recession is one of the many conditions that can be treated with the use of composite fillings. Receding gums can reduce confidence in the appearance of a person's smile and increase the risk of tooth sensitivity and decay. Fortunately, with treatment, this condition can often be stopped or reversed.Gum recession occurs when the gums…
Dental Fillings to Repair a Cracked Tooth
Dental fillings are one of the most common types of restorative services offered by dentists. They are used for a variety of purposes, including to repair a cracked tooth. This review discusses the use of dental fillings to repair a cracked tooth and when a filling is the most appropriate solution.
Repairing cracked teeth with dental fillings
A cracked tooth can be repaired in a variety of ways. By understanding more about the variety of treatment options that are available, you can make an informed decision as to whether a filling or an alternative restorative solution is the right option for you according to your treatment goals and preferences.
What are dental fillings?
A dental filling is a type of dental restoration that repairs minor forms of damage on teeth. There are different types of dental fillings, which include amalgam and ceramic which are both tooth-colored materials; metal alloy and gold fillings are far less common but may be an option depending on the location of the tooth. A dental filling is minimally invasive and performed in the comfort of the dentist’s office. The procedure typically takes less than an hour, and the patient can return home on the same visit with essentially no recovery time.
Can dental fillings repair a cracked tooth?
A dental filling can repair a cracked tooth, particularly if the crack is not severe and does not affect the tooth’s root. In this case, a dental filling is used to restore the appearance of the tooth by applying a tooth-colored filling material where there is a crack. The filling material is then hardened with a special curing light for a long-term hold.
What are other uses for dental fillings?
The primary use for dental fillings is for treating a dental cavity, specifically a cavity that is minor. In essence, a dental filling may be an option anytime there is a minor amount of enamel that is damaged, eroded, or chipped and the patient desires a simple treatment solution that is minimally invasive.
Dental fillings vs. alternative treatment solutions
If a tooth is cracked beyond what a dental filling can repair, then the dentist may recommend dental bonding or a dental crown. For severe chips or severe tooth decay, root canal therapy followed by the placement of a dental crown may be recommended. In worst-case scenarios, tooth extraction may be the only viable option. In this case, the dentist can replace the missing tooth with either a dental bridge (a crown attached to adjacent teeth), a partial removable denture, or an implant-supported crown.
What to expect from a dental filling long-term
A dental filling should last for years without any complications. It is vulnerable to stains or damage, so having good oral hygiene in place to protect the filling is strongly encouraged. It is also encouraged to visit the dentist every four to six months for a routine cleaning procedure and dental check-up; this helps remove any plaque and tartar that has accumulated. With proper care, a dental filling should last for more than five years, and it is not uncommon for fillings to last for beyond a decade.
How to choose the right type of dental filling for a cracked tooth
As mentioned, there are multiple types of dental fillings, including amalgam, ceramic, metal alloy, and gold. Each option offers advantages and potential drawbacks. For example, a ceramic crown offers a tooth-colored appearance but is not as durable as a metal alloy or gold crown. The best type of dental filling for your cracked tooth depends on the location of the tooth and the patient’s aesthetic preference. For example, most patients desire either a ceramic (tooth-colored) crown for more visible teeth.
When to seek treatment for a cracked tooth
It is strongly encouraged to seek treatment for all cracked teeth as soon as conveniently possible; emergency dental care may be necessary for severe cracks that cause a high level of discomfort. Otherwise, symptoms can worsen and put the long-term health of the tooth in jeopardy.
Do you have a cracked tooth?
Here at our dental practice, we offer dental fillings and alternative treatments to treat cracked teeth, chips, cavities, and more. If you are having concerns with one or more of your teeth, then call us today to schedule a visit. We can assess the severity of your tooth damage and help you put together an appropriate treatment plan.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Composite Fillings in Alexandria, VA.
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