A cracked tooth is a common occurrence. Cracks can develop in teeth due to a variety of causes, such as teeth grinding or injury. A cracked tooth should be treated as soon as possible to prevent infection and increase the chances of saving the tooth.
How is a cracked tooth treated? Who is the best specialist to treat a cracked tooth? Here’s what you need to know about getting your cracked tooth repaired.
What is a Cracked Tooth?
A cracked tooth can mean a few different things. A crack can form in the enamel of a tooth that leaves the tooth still intact. In other cases a crack in a tooth can cause a piece to break off. The problem with a cracked tooth is that depending on the depth of the crack, it could expose the dental pulp inside the tooth to bacteria, resulting in an infected tooth.
Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth
Sometimes a cracked tooth is obvious and sometimes it is harder to diagnose. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a cracked tooth:
- Constant tooth pain. Sometimes a cracked tooth will hurt constantly. This is often a sign that the crack has led to an infection.
- Sensitivity. In some cases a cracked tooth can cause sensitivity in a certain area of your mouth. If the sensitivity resonates after the hot, cold, or sweet has been removed, it may indicate that there is a crack that exposes the nerves of the tooth.
- Tooth pain that comes and goes. Often a crack in a tooth will cause pain and other times you won’t feel anything. Then the pain comes back again, and may even subside again.
- Tooth pain when chewing. If you feel pain when chewing in a certain area of your mouth, it may indicate a crack in a tooth.
Types of Cracks in Teeth
There are few different types of cracks that can form in teeth:
- Craze lines. Shallow, zig-zagged cracks tend to form in the enamel of your teeth. These are typically only superficial and do not need any treatment.
- Fractured cusp. When a piece of a tooth breaks off it is called a fractured cusp. Depending on the depth and size of the piece that broke off, the tooth may need a root canal and a crown.
- Cracked tooth. A crack that starts in the crown of the tooth and extends toward the gum line but doesn’t reach the gums, will likely require a root canal and crown. In some cases a crack can be severe enough that the tooth can’t be saved and will need to be extracted.
- Split tooth. When a crack is extensive enough that it extends from the crown and under the gums, it is considered to be a split tooth even if the two pieces of the tooth are still connected. A split tooth will most likely need to be extracted. In some cases a portion of a larger split tooth can be saved by removing the smaller part of the tooth and placing a crown over the remaining tooth material.
- Vertical root fracture. When the crack begins under the gums and extends toward the crown of the tooth, it almost always needs to be extracted. In rare cases a portion of the damaged root can be removed and the tooth can be saved.
How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?
Cracked tooth treatment typically includes a root canal. This procedure involves removing the dental pulp from the inside of the tooth, cleaning out the root canal, and filling the tooth with a rubbery replacement material that fortifies the tooth and prevents infection. After the root canal procedure a crown will be placed over the existing tooth to protect the remaining tooth material and the root.
Who Should You See For a Cracked Tooth?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating teeth from the inside out. They deal mostly with the dental pulp inside the tooth to treat and prevent infections. Endodontists provide the type of treatment required to save a tooth that is at risk of being too damaged to be saved. Going to an endodontist gives you the best chance of saving one or more of your teeth.
Eagle Endodontics Provides Cracked Tooth Treatment
Do you know or think you may have a cracked tooth? Eagle Endodontics provides treatment for different types of cracks in teeth. Our goal is to save your tooth if at all possible through one or a combination of endodontic procedures.
To learn more about cracked tooth treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment.