A cracked tooth can be extremely painful, but even worse, it can result in some serious problems for your oral health. If you notice a crack in your tooth, you should be sure to contact your dentist right away, and treatment methods will vary depending on exactly what type of crack you have experienced.
If the cusp of your tooth is fractured or cracked, a piece of the chewing surface will break off. This often occurs around a filling. To treat a cracked cusp, your dentist will likely need to place a crown over the damaged portion.
Straight Cracked Tooth
A straight cracked tooth will involve a crack extending from the chewing surface of the tooth vertically. The tooth will still be intact rather than separated into pieces, but without treatment it could start to spread. Typically, your dentist will treat the problem with a root canal and crown placement.
A split tooth often results from a cracked tooth that has been allowed to progress and worsen. This occurs when distinct segments are able to separate from the crack. Unfortunately, your dentist won't be able to save this tooth intact, but endodontic treatment might be able to save a part of the tooth.
Vertical Root Fractures
A vertical root fracture is a crack that starts at the roof and extends upward toward the chewing surface. They are typically unnoticed for quite some time until the gum or surrounding bone becomes infected. A root canal may be performed, but in most cases, extraction of the tooth is needed, as this is a severe type of crack.
If you have cracked a tooth, make sure that you contact our office right away. The sooner that you pursue treatment, the better the chances will be that the tooth can be saved.
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Nicholas Dose, DMD 601 1st Street Suite A Lake Oswego, OR 97034-2370