Sports accidents, random falls, bad oral habits such as grinding or clenching teeth, and crunching on hard foods can all lead to fractured teeth. Cracked teeth should be treated as soon as possible, because if left unchecked the crack can extend through the whole tooth. If that ends up happening, it would force immediate treatment with either root canal therapy and a crown or removal of the tooth.
Each kind of crack is treated in a different way, determined by where the crack is in the tooth. A simple vertical crack starting in the enamel is a fractured tooth, but if the crack breaks off part of the enamel, that’s called a fractured cusp. Sometimes a normal fracture can extend all the way down and through the tooth, splitting it. Another kind of fracture starts at the root of the tooth and extends upward. That kind is particularly difficult to detect.
Each type of fracture is treated differently. Some fractured cusps can be treated with a simple dental filling. Some fractured teeth can be treated by placing a crown around the tooth, but if the fracture extends to the root, then it really can’t be saved and will need to be extracted. You can’t really save a split tooth, but sometimes a part of it can be saved and used as the foundation for a crown. Teeth with fractured roots are generally extracted, but can sometimes be saved by cutting off the cracked portion of the root.
If you’ve recently cracked a tooth, contact Smiley Dental Hampton in Dallas, Texas, today to schedule a consultation with our dentist. We will be happy to assist you.