A cracked tooth can result from chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth at night, and can even occur naturally as you age. It’s a common condition and the leading cause of tooth loss in industrialized nations.
Whether your tooth cracks from an injury or general wear and tear, you can experience a variety of symptoms ranging from erratic pain when you chew your food to sudden pain when your tooth is exposed to very hot or cold temperatures. In many cases, the pain may come and go and your dentist may have difficulty locating the tooth causing the discomfort. If you experience these symptoms or suspect a cracked tooth, it’s best to see us as soon as possible.
We specialize in saving cracked teeth and will cater treatment to the type, location, and extent of the crack. The sooner your tooth is treated, the better the outcome. Once treated, most cracked teeth continue to function as they should, for many years of pain-free biting and chewing.
Treatment for a cracked tooth
Treatment depends on the size of the crack, where it’s located, your symptoms, and whether the crack extends into the gum line. Depending on those factors, your dentist may recommend one of the following:
In this procedure, your doctor uses a plastic resin to fill the crack, restoring its look and function
A dental crown is a prosthetic device usually made of porcelain or ceramic. It fits over the damaged tooth or caps it.
To fit a crown, your dentist first shaves off some enamel from your tooth to make room for the crown in your mouth. They then make an impression of the tooth, pick out a color that matches your teeth, and send the impression off to a dental lab to make the crown.
This process may take a couple of weeks. When the crown returns, your dentist fits and cements it over your cracked tooth.
With advances in technology, some dentists can mill a porcelain crown right in the office and place it that day.
With proper care, a crown can last a lifetime.
When a crack is so extensive it extends into the pulp, your dentist, or a specialist such as an oral surgeon or endodontist, will recommend a root canal to remove damaged pulp and restore some integrity to the tooth. This procedure can prevent the tooth from becoming infected or weakening further.
When the structure of the tooth, and the nerves and roots that lie below it, are very damaged, removing the tooth maybe your only option.