A cracked tooth can be a minor problem, where only the enamel of the tooth is affected and which buffing can repair, or it can be very serious, reaching all the way to the tooth root and requiring a root canal to repair. Either way, if you have a cracked tooth, you should see your dentist for an expert evaluation and treatment, to prevent possible further damage to your tooth.
At The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry, our doctor, Dr. Jim Maroney , is the cosmetic dentistry and tooth repair specialist.
While you can treat the pain and discomfort of a severely cracked tooth at home, using over-the-counter pain medication and external icing to reduce swelling in the area, treating a cracked tooth yourself is not possible. You will need to visit your dental professional for examination, evaluation, and treatment.
Best treatment for cracked teeth
There are different types of cracks that can affect your teeth, some more serious than others, nearly all of which will commonly require professional treatment to avoid more serious damage to your teeth:
Craze Lines – or “minor” cracks, are cracks in the surface of the tooth, the enamel. While a minor crack may not require treatment, you should visit your dentist to make sure. The affected tooth may require some buffing or “polishing” to eliminate rough edges on the tooth surface.
Cracked Tooth – A tooth that is cracked all the way through may reach all the way down to the tooth root. This type of crack can easily worsen if left untreated. It may be possible to repair with dental filling material, and will often require a dental crown, as well. If the surrounding tissues and nerve of the cracked tooth have been damaged, a root canal may be required.
Chipped Tooth – A chipped tooth may not require treatment by your dentist though, if a rough edge is exposed, it should be smoothed to prevent damage to tissues in your mouth. You dentist may also recommend cosmetic treatments to repair your smile.
Broken Tooth Cusp – A break to the tooth’s chewing surface, usually requiring a dental crown or “onlay” to repair.
Broken Tooth – A completely broken tooth is very serious, as the nerve becomes exposed. Commonly quite painful, and may cause bleeding. Will usually require a root canal to remove the exposed nerve, with a crown to restore tooth function.
The causes of cracked teeth can range from direct trauma to the tooth, such as falling or banging your mouth against a hard surface, or from serious tooth decay that weakens the tooth dramatically. The best first step you can take when you have a cracked tooth is to visit your dentist for professional advice.
The doctors at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.