In oral health, encountering a cracked tooth or discovering a broken tooth can be disconcerting. Dental fillings, which act as protective barriers against tooth decay, are designed to be resilient. A broken tooth can directly result from factors like biting down on hard foods or general wear and tear. Not every dental emergency, like a chipped tooth, requires an immediate dental emergency response. Sometimes, dental bonding or crowns might be the solution, while in more severe cases, a root canal treatment or dental implant might be necessary. But how does one differentiate between a minor issue and an immediate dental emergency? And when should one book that emergency dental appointment? Let’s delve deeper into understanding these dental predicaments, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions about your oral health. Always consult with an appropriately qualified health practitioner to discuss your unique situation.
Understanding Dental Fillings
What They Are and Why They Are Used
Dental fillings are one of the primary defences in the dentist’s arsenal against tooth decay and deterioration. When a tooth is compromised, whether it’s due to decay or a physical ailment like a cracked tooth, a filling becomes essential to restore its structure and prevent further damage. But what are dental fillings, and why are they vital for oral health?
At its core, a dental filling is a material that fills the void or cavity in a damaged tooth. While the mere mention of it might stir concerns about surgical or invasive procedures, applying a dental filling is standard and less daunting than perceived. Yet, it’s worth noting that any invasive procedure carries risks, so one should always seek guidance from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Common Materials Used in Fillings
The materials chosen for dental fillings are diverse and cater to various needs, preferences, and budgets. Traditional amalgam fillings, made from a mixture of metals, have been used for decades, offering durability and longevity. Composite resin, on the other hand, is a more modern solution that matches the tooth’s colour, ensuring a more natural appearance. Gold fillings are less common but are lauded for their resilience, and they stay strong over time. Finally, often more expensive porcelain fillings offer both durability and an aesthetic that matches the natural tooth.
However, it’s crucial to understand that issues can arise even with the most meticulous care. A cracked filling might necessitate a dentist appointment, whether due to biting down on hard foods or the natural wear and tear of life. In some instances, when the damage extends beyond the scope of a filling, dental crowns or even a root canal might be the recommended course of action. But irrespective of the issue, from a broken tooth filling to a chipped tooth, the primary objective remains: restoring the tooth’s function and integrity, ensuring optimal oral health.
Causes of Cracked Tooth
Physical Trauma: Impact and Hard Foods
Cracking a tooth isn’t just restricted to dramatic incidents. Sometimes, biting down on hard foods can exert enough force to cause a cracked or chipped tooth. External impacts, such as sports-related injuries or accidents, also contribute to dental emergencies.
Age and Natural Degradation
As teeth age, they become more susceptible to cracks. The wear and tear over the years, combined with potential past dental procedures like root canals or large fillings, can weaken the overall structure, leading to cracked teeth.
Temperature Changes: Hot and Cold Fluctuations
Exposing teeth to rapid temperature changes can be harmful. Consuming a hot beverage followed by an ice-cold one can cause teeth, especially those with large fillings, to expand and contract. Over time, these constant changes can make the tooth prone to cracking.
Inadequate Dental Work and Procedures
While dental procedures aim to restore and preserve the health of our teeth, substandard or inadequate dental work can inadvertently weaken them. Poorly placed dental crowns, incorrect root canal treatment, or fillings that don’t fit just right can all increase the risk of a cracked tooth.
Tooth Decay and Cavities
Untreated tooth decay can compromise the integrity of the tooth. As decay progresses, the tooth’s structure weakens, making it more vulnerable to cracks, especially when faced with external pressures.
Grinding or Clenching: Stress on Teeth
People who habitually grind or clench their teeth, often during sleep, can exert significant stress on their teeth. Over time, this constant pressure can lead to cracks or even more severe dental problems.
The health of our teeth is paramount to our overall well-being and confidence. Ignoring or delaying attention to dental issues, especially something as significant as a cracked tooth or filling, can lead to exacerbated problems down the line, from increased pain to potential oral infections.
If you ever suspect a cracked tooth or any dental abnormality, seeking professional advice isn’t just recommended; it’s crucial. Dentists possess the expertise to diagnose and treat these issues, ensuring the longevity and health of your teeth.
For those in the Parramatta area, consider contacting Parramatta Green Dental. Their skilled team can evaluate the situation and, if necessary, provide the necessary filling or treatment to restore your tooth to its optimal state. Take your time with the problem. Book an appointment with Parramatta Green Dental today if you value your oral health and a radiant smile.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
The Obvious and the Obscure: Steps for Crack Detection and Confirmation https://www.aae.org/specialty/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/07/ltfbonusmaterial_c.pdf
Cracked Tooth Syndrome https://medical.mit.edu/sites/default/files/crackedtooth.pdf