If you have a crack in your tooth, you’ll need to know how to handle the dental damage to avoid major pain and problems. Find out the facts on treating cracked teeth with this helpful dental guide.
The Real Risk of Cracked Teeth
Even the tiniest crack in a tooth can lead to larger and later problems. But the earlier you notice the problem and seek dental care, the greater your chance of saving the tooth and protecting yourself from later problems. You may not notice your tooth has cracked at first, but you will soon feel pain when chewing or putting pressure on the tooth. At the very first sign of a problem, contact us to schedule an appointment.
The Right Treatment for Cracked Teeth
Fortunately, there are now many available and affordable dental care procedures that can successfully treat cracked teeth. Of course, the treatment that’s best for each case is based on the type of crack and amount of damage. After a thorough examination, we can determine the right treatment for you. See which treatments are best for each type of dental damage:
Craze Lines – Craze lines are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are extremely common in adult teeth. Craze lines are very shallow, cause no pain, and are of no concern beyond appearances.
Fractured Cusps – When a piece of a tooth’s chewing surface breaks off, often around a filling, it’s called a fractured cusp. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, and usually doesn’t cause much pain. We can place a new filling or crown over the damaged tooth to protect it.If you’ve cracked a tooth and breathing through your mouth or drinking cold fluids is painful, bite on clean, moist gauze or cloth to help relieve symptoms until reaching our practice. Never use topical oral pain medications (such as Anbesol®) or ointments, or place aspirin on the affected areas to eliminate pain symptoms.
Cracked Teeth – A cracked tooth means a crack extends from the chewing surface of your tooth vertically toward the root. The tooth is not yet separated into pieces, though the crack may gradually spread. Early diagnosis is important in order to save the tooth. If the crack has extended into the pulp, the tooth can be treated with a root canal procedure and a crown to protect the crack from spreading. However, if the crack extends below the gum line, it is no longer treatable, and the tooth cannot be saved and will need to be extracted. That’s why early treatment is so important. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in saving these teeth.
Split Teeth – A split tooth is often the result of the long term progression of a cracked tooth. The split tooth is identified by a crack with distinct segments that can be separated. A split tooth cannot be saved intact. The position and extent of the crack, however, will determine whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. In some cases, endodontic treatment may be performed to save a portion of the tooth.
Vertical Root Fractures – Vertical root fractures are cracks that begin in the root of the tooth and extend toward the chewing surface. They often show minimal signs and symptoms and may therefore go unnoticed for some time. Vertical root fractures are often discovered when the surrounding bone and gum become infected. Treatment may involve extraction of the tooth. However, endodontic surgery is sometimes appropriate if a tooth can be saved by the removal of the fractured portion.
If you think you may have a cracked tooth, contact us immediately to schedule an appointment.
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At BLUSH Dental Studio — the dental practice of East Point dentist Dr. Kisha Carter, we believe that having a healthy and beautiful smile helps you live a better life. As a result, we offer you and your family a unique dental experience by providing modern, compassionate and affordable comprehensive dental care. Contact us today or request a convenient appointment online. We look forward to welcoming you to BLUSH Dental Studio and helping you achieve your optimal smile and oral health.
Dr. Kisha Carter is a respected dentist in Atlanta with over 14 years of experience. Initially a dental assistant over 25 years ago, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Georgia and her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia. She graduated top of her class as a member of the dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon.