Cracked tooth can result from an injury or general wear and tear. Symptoms can range from erratic upon chewing to sudden pain when the tooth is exposed to very hot or cold temperatures. In many cases, the pain may be intermittent and it may be difficult for a General Dentist to locate the problem tooth. If you experience these symptoms or suspect a cracked tooth, please call our office as soon as possible.
As a practice limited to endodontics, we specialize in saving cracked teeth and will cater treatment to the type, location, and extent of the crack. The sooner a cracked tooth is treated, the better the outcome. Once treated, most cracked teeth continue to function as they should, for many years of pain-free biting and chewing.
There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depend on the type, location, and extent of the crack.
Craze lines are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel. These cracks are extremely common in adult teeth. Craze lines are very shallow, cause no pain, and are of no concern beyond appearances.
A fractured cusp is a broken section (often around a filling) from the chewing surface of a tooth. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, and usually doesn't cause much pain. A new filling or crown can be placed over the damaged tooth to protect it.
A cracked tooth means a crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth vertically toward the root. The tooth is not yet separated into pieces, though the crack may gradually spread. Early diagnosis is important in order to save the tooth. If the crack has extended into the pulp, the tooth can be treated with a root canal procedure and a crown to protect the crack from spreading. However, if the crack extends below the gum line, it is no longer treatable, and the tooth cannot be saved. This is why early treatment is so important. A cracked tooth that is left untreated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in saving these teeth.
A split tooth is often the result of the long-term progression of a cracked tooth. The split tooth is identified by a crack with distinct segments that can be separated. A split tooth cannot be saved intact. The position and extent of the crack, however, will determine whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. In some cases, endodontic treatment may be performed to save a portion of the tooth.
Vertical Root Fracture
Vertical root fractures are cracks that begin in the root of the tooth and extend toward the chewing surface. They often show minimal signs and symptoms and may, therefore, go unnoticed for some time. Vertical root fractures are often discovered when the surrounding bone and gum become infected. Treatment may involve extraction of the tooth. However, endodontic surgery is sometimes appropriate if a tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured portion.
Questions or Appointments?
Here at Elite Root Canal Specialties, our mission is to provide you with quality endodontic treatment in a gentle, warm, painless and comforting environment. Do you have questions about our procedures or need to schedule an appointment? Please contact our office.