Anatomy of a Broken Tooth

March 6, 2018

Your teeth are protected by the most resilient substance found within the human body, but they are not indestructible. Teeth crack and break all the time, even in very healthy strong mouths. While a fixing a broken bone bone can sometimes just involve setting it and allowing it to heal, fixing a broken tooth is quite different. In fact, a broken tooth cannot heal, fixing a broken tooth requires restorative dental treatment. It is important to restore a tooth to restore your smile’s abilities and appearance. Restoring a tooth also protects it from further damage or future decay. 

The Tooth’s Structure

A tooth is comprised of a crown and the root. Living up to the names, a tooth’s root is below your gums, within a socket in your jawbone. The tooth’s crown lives above the gum line, and is the only part of the tooth should be seen. The crown is made up of layers that begin with the outside, highly-mineralized enamel that surrounds and protects it. Beneath the enamel is the dentin, which makes up the majority of your tooth’s structure. Beneath that layer lives the nerves and blood vessels at the center of your tooth (also known as the pulp).

Treating a Broken Tooth

Treating a damaged tooth will depend on the nature and severity of the damage. A broken tooth will also need to be cleaned to ensure that it is free of infectious bacteria before being restored. Once a tooth is cracked or broken, bacteria may be able to access the vulnerable tissues in your tooth’s pulp to cause an internal infection. Some patients may require root canal therapy to disinfect the tooth’s inner pulp. If the breakage is just on the enamel with a crack or chip, dental bonding or a filling may be sufficient to repair the tooth. If more of the tooth is compromised, a crown may be necessary to restore the tooth. In extreme cases,  damage to the tooth may be so severe that it cannot be saved and must be extracted.

Damaged Teeth Can Often Be Repaired

A broken tooth should be treated swiftly. To schedule a consultation with your dentist, call E-Care Dentistry, PA in Olathe, KS, today at 913-210-1701. We also proudly serve patients from Overland Park, Lenexa, Leawood, Gardner, and all surrounding communities.