You can repair a damaged or broken tooth in several ways, from fillings to root canals and inlays/onlays to dental crowns. Each type of treatment has its advantages and disadvantages. Which is the best option will vary depending on the nature and severity of the damage, your overall oral health and how much money you want to spend. Treatment to repair a damaged tooth is vital to prevent further decay or even more severe complications in the long term, so let’s take a closer look at the options.
Damaged Tooth Repair Options
A tooth that has been broken or damaged by decay or trauma (including chips or cracks) may require a filling to restore its structural integrity and function. However, a dental crown may be required to strengthen the tooth if a large amount of decay is removed. Traditionally, dental fillings were made from silver amalgam—which many people found unsightly. However, modern fillings can also provide cosmetic benefits—as they are matched to the tooth’s colour so that they blend in seamlessly and are virtually invisible to detect. Fillings are carried out in a matter of minutes by a dentist.
Dental bonding is another treatment to repair a damaged tooth and restores the shape of a chipped or cracked tooth using composite resin. The resin is tooth-coloured and hardened with a high-intensity light to bond it securely to the tooth.
Dental inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are custom-made restorations used to repair and replace teeth that have decay or other damage. They are typically used when the area on the damaged tooth is too large for a filling but not enough for a dental crown.
Inlays and onlays are different from traditional fillings because they are made offsite in a laboratory, and your dentist applies them to the tooth. The difference between inlays and onlays is that inlays are used when there is no damage to the cusps (the pointed parts of the back teeth), whereas onlays cover one or more cusps.
A root canal is a treatment to repair a damaged tooth when decay or infection has reached the nerves, pulp and blood supply inside the tooth. The pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, gives your teeth their colour, shape and temperature. The dentist removes the infected pulp from the root canal, and then disinfects and fills the inside of the damaged tooth. The tooth may then be restored with a dental crown.
Also known as ‘caps’, dental crowns are made from porcelain, metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal and fit over the visible portion of a tooth from the top to where it meets the gum line. Dental crowns provide a versatile solution to a damaged tooth. In addition, dental crowns replace missing teeth as part of a dental bridge or dental implant.
Benefits of dental crowns
- A damaged tooth is protected with a dental crown.
- Dental crowns strengthen teeth weakened by large fillings or root canals.
- A dental crown can improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.
- A dental crown is custom-made.
- Dental crowns are long-lasting—up to 15-20 years.
- A dental crown blends in well with your other teeth.
- A dental crown preserves a tooth
Treatment to repair a damaged tooth – The Takeaway
From fillings to dental crowns, there are plenty of ways to repair a damaged tooth. Schedule an appointment with Bondi Beach Dental by calling us on (02) 9159 6957 to learn more about how we can help you fix your teeth and smile.
Web MD: Repair a chipped or broken tooth
Colgate: When a dental inlay is your best option