A cracked tooth can happen as the result of an accident, misuse of the teeth, or even teeth
grinding. For some people, a cracked tooth won’t cause any symptoms; however, an injured
tooth should always be evaluated by a dentist, as cracked teeth can eventually cause tooth loss
if left unchecked.
Depending on the severity of your cracked tooth, your treatment may be cosmetic or it may
require an additional procedure to save your tooth. What happens once you crack a tooth?
Here’s what you need to know.
If the crack in your tooth only extends as far as the enamel, you may be able to forgo treatment
or you may need tooth bonding.
Tooth bonding—also called dental bonding—is a form of treatment in which a tooth-colored
resin is bonded to your tooth to protect it from further damage as well as to fill in chips and
Tooth bonding will not be ideal for every cracked tooth, but it can be used to repair certain
cracks and stop them from getting worse. Visiting your dentist can help you determine if this
treatment is for you!
When a crack extends beyond the enamel and into the softer tissues of the teeth, it’s likely that
you’ll need root canal therapy to prevent an infection in your tooth. When a crack leads inside
the tooth, it can be a gateway for bacteria and food particles to enter your tooth and cause an
Depending on your unique case, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy with a dental
crown affixed to the end of the tooth to protect it from further damage. During a root canal,
your dentist will remove the inner pulp of your tooth to prevent an infection, or if the crack has
been present for some time, remove a potentially ongoing infection.
Since cracks have the potential to spread, it’s important to secure protection for the tooth in
order to avoid an extraction and save your natural tooth.
In the event that the crack in your tooth leads below the gumline, your tooth may need to be
extracted. These are cracks that extend vertically down the tooth and towards the tooth’s root
and may be referred to as a split tooth.
In many cases, a split tooth is the result of a crack that’s been there for some time and has
extended down the tooth. Unfortunately, for many patients, the tooth in question will need to
be removed to prevent infection.
If you notice a crack in your tooth, getting it evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible can help
you receive the treatment you need to save your tooth!
Whether you have a superficial crack in your teeth or a deeper crack that’s causing you pain
and discomfort, it’s important to get in to see your dentist as soon as possible. In some cases, a
cracked tooth is considered an emergency and should be evaluated that same day. Getting
prompt treatment can help you protect your cracked tooth to save your smile!