TOOTH FILLINGS

Tooth Fillings 

 

A lot of people require tooth filling at least once in their life. While tooth fillings are usually used for cavity treatment, they can also be used to restore broken, cracked or worn out teeth.  

Dental filling procedure mostly involves:

  • Application of topical anesthetic so as to create numbness on the treatment site.
  • Removal of decay from the tooth affected.
  • Restoration of the tooth using amalgam or composite filling.
  • Dental bite-check performed to ensure that after the filling your teeth are in proper alignment.

Your NoFrills Dental practice team will make sure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout the entire procedure. Feel free to raise your concerns and worries about the procedure and your concerns will all be addressed.

Cracked Tooth

In addition to being painful, a cracked tooth can cause tooth infection. Signs that your tooth is cracked:

  • A sharp pain that disappears quickly whenever you bite on to something.
  • On and off pain.
  • Pain whenever you eat or drink.
  • Feeling that there is something stuck in between

Note that you might have a cracked tooth even if you experience none of the above signs.

How to tell if you have a Cracked Tooth?

It might be difficult to know whether you have a cracked tooth. You might experience pain but may be unable to know the exact tooth that hurts or if the pain originates from the upper jaw or the lower jaw. At times cracks cannot be seen by the naked eye and can also get undetected on x-rays. You may not experience any discomfort or sensitivity; it is only your dentist that can detect such cracks during dental examination.  

In case you experience the symptoms mentioned above, you can discuss them with your dentist so as to identify the tooth that is cracked. For instance you can let your dentist know:

  • What causes you pain; is it cold, heat or eating sweet, sticky or sour foods?
  • Where the pain originates.

Why Does a Tooth Crack?

The following can cause a tooth to crack:

  • chewing hard things or foods including pencils, hard candy, ice or nuts
  • accidents, for instance getting hit on the mouth
  • teeth clenching or grinding
  • uneven pressure during chewing particularly if there is a missing tooth
  • Damaged tooth structure due to wear and tear
  • Damaged tooth structure caused by unaligned fillings or restorations
  • Tooth enamel exposed to extreme temperatures; hot or cold

Why Does a Cracked Tooth Hurt?

A crack sometimes goes deep through the enamel to the pulp inside the tooth. Such a crack will cause you to feel pain whenever you bite on or stop biting on to something. Even if a crack is too small and invisible to the naked eye, when it gets opened up the nerve pulp in the tooth might get irritated. This pulp is centrally located inside the tooth and is made of soft tissue with blood vessels and nerves. If a crack reaches the pulp then the tooth develops sensitivity to too much cold and heat.

In case the pulp gets affected by the crack, it may be necessary for one to undergo root canal or endodontic treatment to save your tooth from getting extracted.

 

A small crack in the tooth Crack widens when teeth bite down

How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?

A cracked tooth is treated depending on where the crack is located, how big it is, its direction and the patient’s symptoms. Therefore it is your dentist to recommend the suitable treatment for you. At times your dentist will not recommend any treatment for you because small cracks are normal and usually not problematic.

A cracked tooth can be treated in the following ways:

  • Filling up the crack
  • Crowning the tooth in order to prevent further damage
  • Root canal or endodontic treatment in case the pulp has been affected
  • Extracting of the cracked tooth if damage is severe and nothing can be done

Visiting your dentist regularly for dental examination is very important because your dentist can detect and treat dental issues as early as possible before they escalate. In case you feel your tooth has a crack you should see your dentist immediately. When a cracked tooth is not treated early enough it may become a big problem.

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