A cracked, weakened or otherwise damaged tooth can bring a host of problems. These are, of course, obvious if your damaged tooth is causing a lot of pain or discomfort. However, sometimes this isn't the case – at first, at least – but in time, pain can develop. Even if it doesn't, damaged teeth can look less than aesthetically pleasing, which is damaging to confidence.
There are several treatments available that can help restore a tooth to its natural, beautiful, healthy state. A dentist will be able to give you advice and tips on what would be best for your situation, but it's helpful to have some idea first, so here are the usual treatments you might be offered.
This treatment uses a special tooth-coloured resin to repair part of a tooth. It can moulded to shape and is suitable for correcting cracks, chips and small missing portions of a tooth. It's suitable for situations where the overall strength of a tooth is sufficient to last and remain healthy.
A dental crown is an artificial tooth that's placed over a natural one. Because it's full sized, it can be used on a tooth with fairly little enamel remaining, as long as the root and remaining structure is strong. To accommodate a crown, a tooth may need to be resized, but this technique can save a damaged tooth that would otherwise need to be removed. Suitable for many different types of damage, crowns are widely used in dentistry.
Veneers are slim porcelain covers that are fitted over teeth. They're suitable for covering superficial damage, like minor chips or small cracks, as they're quite fragile compared to other treatments.
One of the more well-known recent innovations in dentistry, implants have provided a permanent alternative to dentures for anyone with lost teeth. If you have a tooth that's too damaged to repair using other methods, an implant can be installed. The implant itself is not a full tooth; it's an artificial root to hold a crown, which will be fitted afterwards.
A dental bridge is a way to conceal a gap where a tooth is missing. Attached to crowns on teeth either side of the gap, bridges add an artificial tooth without the need for an implant. If a tooth needs to be removed due to damage, a dentist may recommend crowns and a bridge as a good treatment to help your smile return to normal.