The strongest tissue in the body is the enamel covering the teeth. However, it is still capable of being cracked. There are a number of ways for a tooth to be damaged.
Maybe you fell or was roughhousing, or perhaps you broke it while eating one of the many damaging foods. Also, the risk of breaking a tooth is increased when it is weakened due to cavities or tooth decay.
Repairing a Cracked Tooth
After a thorough examination, your dentist can determine the best treatment option for the cracked tooth. Also, the extent, location, and type help determine the treatment.
Tiny cracks only affecting the outer enamel of the tooth are called craze lines. They are not painful, are shallow, and only affect appearance.
A break in the chewing surface of a tooth is a fractured cusp. Generally, this type of crack does not cause much pain or damages the pulp. To protect the cracked tooth, a filling or crown can be placed over the tooth.
A vertical crack extending from the chewing surface to the root and has not divided into pieces. To ensure saving the tooth, early diagnosis is vital.
Depending on how far the crack extends determines the treatment option. A root canal and a crown are ideal if the crack has extended into the pulp. If the crack has extended beyond the gums, however, an extraction would be needed.
Vertical Root Fracture
A crack beginning at the root, extending to the chewing surface of the tooth is a vertical root fracture. In most cases, signs and symptoms are minimal resulting in late diagnosis. Extraction may be necessary, but endodontic surgery may help save the tooth.
Long-term progression often leads to a split tooth. A crack with distinct pieces able to be separated is a split tooth. The extent and location of the split will determine if the tooth can be saved. Endodontic treatment may be helpful in saving part of the tooth.
For further information about options for a cracked tooth, contact us today.