Can A Cracked Tooth Be Saved?
A cracked tooth is a relatively common occurrence. It becomes increasingly common with age. Teeth may crack in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons.
If you have a cracked tooth, you may be wondering if it can be saved and how. This will depend on a few factors such as the length, the direction, and the location of the crack, as well as the condition of the tooth. Here’s what you need to know about treatment for a cracked tooth.
Types of Cracks in Teeth
There are a few different types of cracks that can develop in teeth:
- Craze lines. Craze lines are shallow cracks that zigzag across the surface of the enamel. They are normal and do not typically require any treatment.
- Cracked tooth. The most common crack in a tooth starts at the surface and extends toward the gums. In most cases these teeth can be saved.
- Fractured cusp. If a piece of the tooth breaks off, it is referred to as a fractured cusp. A tooth with this type of crack can usually be saved.
- Split tooth. A split tooth occurs when the crack begins in the crown of the tooth and extends under the gumline. A split tooth is rarely savable and will most likely need to be extracted.
- Vertical crack. If the crack begins under the gums and travels outward toward the crown of the tooth, it is called a vertical crack. These teeth can not be saved in most cases.
Symptoms of Cracked Teeth
It is not always obvious that a tooth is cracked. Some cracks are small or occur in parts of the teeth that are difficult to see. Here are the common symptoms of a cracked tooth:
- Intermittent pain. If you experience pain in your tooth that comes and goes, it often indicates that there may be a crack somewhere in the tooth.
- Resonating sensitivity. A tooth that is particularly sensitive to cold, heat, or sugar may have a crack. If the sensitivity lingers after the source has been removed, it is even more likely to be a cracked tooth, or a deep filling close to the nerve.
- Pain when chewing. If you experience pain in one location when chewing, the tooth may have a crack you can’t see.
- Swelling of the gums around the tooth. A cracked tooth has a high risk of infection, which can cause the gum tissue to swell up and become inflamed.
Treatment for Cracked Teeth
Cracked tooth treatment often includes the following:
- Root canal. A cracked tooth will most likely need a root canal. This is done to treat or prevent infection of the dental pulp.
- Crown. A cracked tooth will need to be covered with a crown to protect the tooth and prevent the crack from spreading.
- Endodontic surgery. In cases of vertical cracks or split teeth, part of the tooth root may need to be removed, which requires surgery to access the root below the gums.
What Happens if the Tooth Can’t Be Saved?
If the crack is too severe to save the tooth, it will need to be extracted. It is always in your best interest to replace a tooth after extraction. This keeps your teeth in proper alignment, restores chewing capabilities, and prevents bone loss in the jaw. Replacing the tooth with a dental implant is the best restoration option in most cases.
Where Should I Go For Cracked Tooth Treatment?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in saving teeth by treating the dental pulp inside each tooth. Forest Lake Endodontics provides treatment for cracked teeth that offers the best chance of saving the natural tooth and root system.