Having a cracked tooth can be a dental emergency in some cases. However, any cracked tooth should be treated quickly. While it may seem like your teeth are nearly indestructible, it possible to crack a tooth in a variety of ways. If that happens, there are a few things that you need to do. Here is what to expect when you get treatment for cracked teeth.
Cracked Teeth Overview
A cracked tooth is when a tooth splits vertically from the top and extends down the root. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the simplest reason is biting down on something that is too hard. A cracked tooth can be very painful, and it will only get worse over time. The separate parts will continue to move separately even if they seem like they are still connected. This will lead to the crack expanding across your tooth and possibly ruining the entire tooth permanently. You cannot repair a cracked tooth on your own, it needs to be treated by a professional sooner rather than later.
If the crack in your tooth extends to the pulp, you will likely need a root canal. Cracked teeth often cause pulp damage and need extensive treatment. A root canal, or Root Canal Treatment (RCT), is a procedure where the dentist drills into the center of your tooth to remove the damaged pulp before it becomes infected and leads to serious health problems. This procedure is designed to save the rest of the tooth and prevent serious health risks in the future.
A RCT can be performed in the endodontist’s office where many root canals are performed each year. It is a common procedure that an experienced endodontist can perform with little difficulty. Most RCTs take one appointment to complete.
Another treatment option for a cracked tooth is crown. Each cracked tooth must be examined to determine just how bad the damage is. If the damage is severe, a root canal is likely needed. However, a small or less severe crack can be treated and covered with a crown to save the tooth. Basic repair work will need to be done like a thorough inspection of the tooth and the removal of any affected structure. Then, your dentist can fit a crown over the tooth, which will seal it and stabilize it so that you can resume normal eating habits.
No Treatment Needed
For some cracked teeth, you may not need to do anything at all. Cracks in the enamel of teeth are normal for adults. These superficial cracks are called craze lines and they do not affect the usefulness of your teeth beyond making them look a bit strange. Your dentist won’t recommend any kind of treatment.