A cracked tooth is never something to ignore. Teeth can experience a variety of fractures from damage, especially from an accident, misuse, or teeth grinding. Depending on the specific nature and type of fracture, you may have different treatment options to help restore your tooth.
How Do You Know If Your Tooth Is Cracked?
It’s important to know that cracked teeth don’t always cause pain or other symptoms. Sometimes a crack is obvious, while other times, your tooth may be painful, but you can’t visibly see a crack. Symptoms people with a cracked tooth may experience include extreme sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or spicy foods, while others may experience acute pain when biting or chewing.
However, many cracks don’t cause symptoms but may still cause problems with your smile . Getting regular exams with your dentist can tell whether you’ve experienced a fracture and what your treatment options are.
Treatment Options for Your Cracked Tooth
If your dentist has determined that one of your teeth has experienced a crack, you may have the following restoration options available to you:
If your tooth has experienced a fracture on a cusp—one of the points of your tooth—then your dentist may be able to restore it with a dental crown. A dental crown is a ceramic replica of your natural tooth and will be placed over your tooth to prevent further damage.
You may also have the option of a dental crown if you have a vertical crack that’s contained above the gumline. In this case, a root canal may be necessary prior to placing your dental crown to ensure the tooth doesn’t get an infection .
Filling or Bonding
Some tooth fractures may be able to be repaired with a filling. Your dentist will use composite resin—a synthetic material that accurately matches your natural teeth—to repair the crack. This is the same material that’s used in dental bonding.
Dental bonding may be an appropriate form of treatment for cracks that are minor and wouldn’t benefit from a traditional filling or a dental crown. Dental bonding has been shown to be a successful form of treatment for certain tooth fractures .
What Happens If a Crack Can’t Be Treated?
Some cracks are too severe to be successfully treated. For instance, if your tooth has a crack that extends below the gumline, a full or partial extraction of your tooth may be necessary. Your dentist can let you know what to expect after the fracture has been properly detected and diagnosed during your appointment.
Don’t Hesitate to Seek Treatment!
Letting a cracked tooth go untreated reduces the chances that you would be able to fix it. If you don’t receive regular visits with your dentist, schedule one today, especially if you’re experiencing pain or other symptoms of a cracked tooth!