If you practice risky sports such as football, basketball, hockey, rugby or combat sports, such as karate and judo, you should protect your teeth with a mouth guard. This will reduce – though not eliminate – the risk of damage to your teeth.
However, accidents do happen, so if, despite wearing a mouth guard, you’ve broken one or more teeth; what do you do?
To answer this question, we need to know more about the problem at hand. Not all teeth fractures are the same, and treatment will depend on the depth and the extent of the fracture.
If the fracture is superficial and does not reach the nerve, two remedies are possible. If you have kept the tooth fragment, your dentist may attempt to glue it back on. If the tooth fragment is not usable or it has not been found, a resin composite will be used. With today’s techniques, the exact color of your tooth can be obtained which makes this intervention practically invisible.
If the damage is more significant but the fracture has not reached the nerve, a glued veneer can be used. A veneer is a custom-made layer which covers an entire side of the tooth. It can be made either of composite or of porcelain. The exact color of your tooth can also be obtained with this technique.
In cases where the nerve was damaged, you will have to remove the tooth and insert a crown. This procedure is done in several stages.
For a more severe case – for example, if the root of the tooth has been affected – then the entire tooth must be removed, and two solutions are available: prostheses or implants.
Finally, for information about what to do if a tooth is knocked out completely in an accident, we have an article on the subject. Read it here.
Now that your tooth is fixed, you must continue to take care of all your teeth; those that are repaired or replaced are no exception. Brush your teeth after every meal and floss daily.