2 Potential Treatments For A Tooth With A Class I Fracture

Dentists classify teeth fractures according to an Ellis scale that involves three different levels of damage. A Class I fracture is the most minor type of tooth fracture and only involves damage to the enamel, which is the clear protective coating over the tooth's dentin. Damage to the enamel can lead to intrinsic tooth staining, easier dentin damage, and a rough surface on the tooth that can hurt your tongue.

There are a couple of different treatments for a Class I fracture that depend upon any co-existing symptoms. If the enamel damage is minor and no other symptoms are present, your dentist might recommend a simple cleaning and the use of fluoride toothpastes. But more severe enamel damage or additional symptoms might need more treatment.

Tooth Smoothing

The rough edges caused by enamel damage can make chewing and talking uncomfortable if your tongue has to pass over those edges. Your dentist can perform a smoothing routine to get rid of those rough edges and improve your comfort.

Smoothing simply involves using a drill and a dental file to smooth the surface of your tooth. The dentist will work carefully to avoid causing any unnecessary additional damage to your remaining dentin. Tooth smoothing alone is often sufficient treatment for a tooth with a Class I fracture.

Note that teeth smoothing isn't always necessary, even when you do have an uneven tooth surface. If the roughness isn't causing you any problems, consult your dentist to see if any treatment at all is required.

Dental Crown

Teeth dentin can yellow naturally as you age, but that isn't always noticeable when the enamel is intact. If the enamel is chipped or broken, the yellowing can be apparent. Dentin discoloration is considered an intrinsic stain and can't be treated with the same commercial whitening agents used to treat extrinsic or enamel staining.

Your dentist can cover the intrinsic staining with a dental crown. A porcelain and metal crown has a natural-looking porcelain exterior with a metal backing for stability and strength. The exterior of your natural tooth is filed down slightly to compensate for the thickness of the crown and to facilitate the bonding process. A bonding agent is then applied and the hollow dental crown is slipped over the tooth. The bonding agent dries quickly and then you have a natural looking and feeling tooth.

A dental crown can help protect your tooth's natural dentin, which would be exposed to damage in the areas where the fracture split the enamel open.

For more information, contact a local dentist like Kuban David S DDS.