Many people dread the idea of needing to get dental work done to replace their existing teeth. If you are daunted by the idea of potentially ending up with false teeth or being left with a gap, there’s a good chance you will delay your next visit to the dentist, which compounds the problem. A cracked tooth or neglected teeth will generally deteriorate further, limiting the options for repair when finally visiting the dentist.
A recent patient for example, a woman in her early fifties experienced a cracked tooth at the side of her mouth four years ago. It was a tooth that had been filled some time ago. The inside of the tooth had now broken away, yet enough remained for it to still give her a natural smile. So she left it and avoided the dental visit for four more years. With the remainder of the tooth now gone in the bite of a sandwich, she will likely need a Dental Implant or Bridge fitted, as she doesn’t want false teeth or to be left with a gap. I first need to remove the remainder of the tooth, but as it has deteriorated further, there may be a little bone damage removing it all which “might’ limit the options for an implant. The message here is, don’t procrastinate, you are better off to see your dentist and find out your options sooner than later. You then have time to consider alternatives and it is still your choice to decide what you prefer.
Another concern we often see is tooth discolouration. Your teeth may be perfectly healthy, but their shade of off-white may make you self-conscious and not want to share your smile with the world. In the case of healthy yet discoloured teeth, a good option can be to use veneers or get them whitened. If the teeth are sound, there’s no need to consider false teeth, just improve the teeth you have!
If possible, keep your existing teeth for as long as you can before heading down the path of dental implants or false teeth. The key thing is to “avoid avoidance” as it is far better to stay informed through a regular checkup. Have you been neglecting your teeth a little bit? If you feel that you have not been taking the best care of your teeth, they may be at risk of being lost, or they may crack all the way up and require root canal work. If you are worried your teeth are at risk of cracking, we can advise you on their health, and provide a plan to fix them up or keep them well and strong.
When we do discover that a tooth is cracked, solutions depends on the depth of crack, there are different options. If the crack is not too deep, the existing tooth can be crowned and kept for a long time. A Crown is a long term solution for restoring multiple teeth that have been damaged by age or grinding. Crowns give you a natural-looking smile and are a comfortable alternative to wearing dentures.
If a cracked tooth is too deep and the tooth can not be saved, usually there two different options: either an implant which is a titanium pin that is placed in to the jaw and restored later or a dental bridge that uses your healthy adjacent teeth.
Oh and the pain question, “will it hurt?”. Fortunately getting dental work done now does not need to be a painful or uncomfortable experience as it was in the past. I prefer to think of myself as a Gentle Dentist, taking great care to reduce anxiety and provide a Pain Free Experience. We want you to leave you smiling and feeling great.
See Also “How a Gentle Dentist creates a Gap Free Smile”.