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.
The severity and location of the crack will determine how Dr. Lynh Pham will fix it. A crack is defined by what part of the tooth it affects. For example, if just part of the chewing surface of the tooth is broken off, it’s called a fractured cusp. A fractured tooth is when a vertical crack extends from the biting surface of the tooth down towards the root. It can sometimes form into a split tooth if the crack extends too far and separates the tooth into parts. And other times, a crack can start at the root and extend upward. These are hard to detect, and the surrounding tissue and bone is often infected before they are discovered.
Depending on the location of the crack, a fractured cusp can be treated with either a filling or a crown. A cracked tooth is treatable with a crown if the crack does not extend below the gumline – those will need to be extracted – or into the pulp. If it extends into the pulp, the tooth might be saved by a root canal treatment and crown. A split tooth cannot be saved intact, but part of it might, depending on the fracture’s location and extent. A tooth with a fractured root will most likely be extracted, but can occasionally be saved by a procedure that removes the cracked portion.
If you’ve recently cracked a tooth, contact Smiley Dental Camp Bowie in Ft. Worth, Texas, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lynh Pham. We will be happy to assist you.