Can A Cracked Tooth Be Saved?
Do you have a cracked tooth? As strong as tooth enamel is, it is still possible for a tooth to crack. Cracked teeth can occur due to weakened enamel, metal fillings, biting down on something hard, or an injury to the mouth.
If you have a cracked tooth, you may be wondering if it can be saved. Here’s what you need to know about cracked tooth restoration.
Types of Cracks in Teeth
There are a few different types of cracked teeth, and the type is the determining factor in whether or not the tooth can be saved. Types of cracks include:
- Craze lines. Tiny zig-zag cracks can form in the top layer of enamel. These are typically only superficial and won’t cause any risks to the health of your tooth. Craze lines don’t require treatment in most cases.
- Crack above the gum line. If there is a crack in the crown of your tooth that does not extend into the gum line, there is a good chance that the tooth can be saved. It depends on the depth of the crack and the health of the tooth.
- Crack under the gum line. If the crack extends below the gum line or begins in the root of the tooth under the gums, there is a high probability that the tooth can not be saved.
- Fractured cusp. If a piece of your tooth breaks away, the tooth may be able to be saved. It depends on the size and depth of the break and the health of the tooth.
Treatment for Cracked Teeth
Cracked teeth are treated according to the situation:
- Dental sealants or composite fillings. If your teeth have extensive craze lines that may increase your risk of tooth decay, you may need to have dental sealant or fillings applied to prevent plaque from forming in the cracks.
- Root canal and crown. A cracked tooth is at a high risk of infection because bacteria could reach the root canal through the crack and infect the dental pulp inside the tooth. A root canal is a procedure that removes the dental pulp and fills the tooth with composite material that fortifies the structure and prevents infection. A crown is then placed over the remaining tooth material for protection.
- Extraction and replacement. If the crack is too extensive the tooth may need to be extracted. An extracted tooth should always be replaced with either a bridge or a dental implant to keep the rest of the teeth in proper alignment and maintain chewing capabilities.
Seek Prompt Treatment to Save the Tooth
When it comes to a cracked tooth, the difference between saving the tooth and losing it is often time. Seek treatment right away for a cracked tooth, because the situation will only worsen over time. A tooth cannot repair itself. The crack will become deeper and longer, eventually resulting in a split tooth or a painful infection.
Who Should I See for a Cracked Tooth?
Your general dentist may be able to treat a cracked tooth, but some cases may require the expertise of a specialist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of the inner portion of a tooth, the root canal and dental pulp. If your tooth is at risk due to a severe crack, an endodontist may be able to save it.
Elite Endodontics of NH provides treatment for cracked teeth. We will do our best to save your tooth and restore it to its natural appearance and function.
Contact us right away if you have a cracked tooth to learn more and schedule an appointment.