A cracked tooth is a common occurrence. Cracks can develop in teeth due to a variety of causes, and in most cases they can be repaired. A cracked tooth should be treated as soon as possible to increase the chances of saving the tooth. Seek urgent dental care right away.
How do dentists fix cracked teeth? The treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the type, size, and depth of the crack. If you have a cracked tooth, here’s what you need to know.
Types of Cracks in Teeth
There are various types of cracks that can develop in teeth:
- Craze lines. The most common type of cracks that form in teeth don’t typically need any treatment at all. Craze lines are tiny zig-zag shaped cracks that develop in the top layer of enamel. Most of the time craze lines are simply a sign of normal wear and tear on your teeth and pose no immediate risk to the health of your teeth.
- Cracked tooth. A typical cracked tooth develops in the crown of the tooth and extends toward the root. This type of cracked tooth should be treated as soon as possible to prevent the crack from worsening.
- Split tooth. When a crack in a tooth extends down into the root below the gum line, it is considered to be a split tooth. In some cases a split tooth can be saved, but in many cases it will need to be extracted.
- Vertical root fracture. A crack that begins in the root of the tooth and extends toward the crown is a vertical root fracture. In most cases the tooth is untreatable and will need to be extracted.
- Fractured cusp or chipped tooth. In some cases a crack in a tooth causes a piece of the crown to break off. The tooth may be saved if it is treated promptly.
How Are Cracked Teeth Treated?
Treatment options for cracked teeth are as follows:
- Dental sealants. Craze lines may be treated with dental sealants if there is a high risk of tooth decay. If craze lines accompany deep grooves or other risks of decay, it may be best to have a sealant applied.
- Composite fillings. If a crack is minor enough, it may be able to be filled with composite material. No other treatment may be needed unless there are signs of damage to the sublayers of the tooth below the enamel.
- Root canals. A tooth with a significant crack should be treated with a root canal. The procedure involves removal of the dental pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth. The tooth is then flushed out to remove all of the tissue that could potentially become infected. A rubbery material is used to fill the tooth that will prevent infection.
- Crowns. After root canal treatment, the tooth should be covered with a dental crown. A crown is a protective cover that looks like a natural tooth. It preserves the remaining enamel and the natural root.
Where Should I Go for Cracked Tooth Treatment?
If you have a cracked tooth or suspect that your tooth may be cracked, Wilson Park Dental provides emergency treatment. A cracked tooth should be treated immediately to prevent infection and keep the crack from worsening, which increases the chances that the tooth can be saved.
Call 605-343-9352 for urgent treatment.
During office hours, immediate attention will be given to your situation, and you will be seen as soon as possible. After office hours, please give the office a call and follow the instructions provided. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.