Avenue Dental has a same day emergency dental guarantee at each of its three dental practices across the Sunshine Coast if you call before 10am.
Unfortunately, people have unplanned dental emergencies that need attention. One of the most common problems we see is a broken tooth. Often a tooth breaks at the most inconvenient time such as eating pork crackling on Christmas Day.
Usually if a tooth breaks it is not painful. Sometimes the tooth can have increased sensitivity to cold and may be sharp and irritating for your tongue or cheek. Occasionally, prior to breaking, a tooth can have some minor pain on biting. Very Occasionally a tooth can break at an unfavorable angle which means the tooth cannot be fixed and must be removed, or possibly the tooth can even split in two also resulting in a tooth that cannot be saved.
Why do teeth break?
Teeth break for a variety of reasons. The most common cause of teeth breaking is dental amalgam. Dental amalgam is an alloy of silver, mercury and a variety of other metals. It has a silver to black colour. Dental amalgam was the most common filling material for many years and most people have at least one or two dental amalgam fillings. They last very well but a big problem with dental amalgam is that it corrodes over time. As it corrodes it expands, putting internal pressure on the tooth. Over time this causes small cracks to appear and eventually the tooth breaks or shatters. Most of the time these teeth can be saved but occasionally the break is too severe and a tooth needs to be extracted.
Teeth can also break from excessive force. This can be from a variety or sources such as trauma from eating or an accidental knock to the face. Excessive force can also come from teeth grinding. Most people are unaware that they grind their teeth as it usually happens at night when they are asleep. The force of grinding can wear teeth down but also crack teeth, especially if the teeth have dental amalgam fillings.
Other reasons why teeth break
The other common reason we see for broken teeth is root canal teeth that have not been reinforced. Root canal teeth are more likely to break than healthy teeth. For that reason it is best to have a root canal reinforced with a stronger restoration to prevent this risk. However, many people have had root canals and have not had the tooth reinforced which a stronger restoration and over time this can result it the tooth breaking or even loss of the tooth.