How to Fix a Cracked/Fractured Tooth
What Is Considered a Cracked Tooth?
A cracked or chipped tooth happens when your mouth suffers trauma and a piece of the tooth has chipped or cracked off. The crack can be incredibly painful and could occur in any of your teeth.
Chips will be more noticeable on front teeth but damage in the back teeth is more impactful on your long-term oral health. It is important to not leave chipped teeth untreated as that can cause damage to other parts of the mouth including gums, tongue, lips, or cheeks.
What Can Cause a Chipped Tooth?
A chipped tooth can result from many different things including, but not limited to:
- Untreated cavities
- Old fillings that cause tooth structural problems
- Trauma from an accident
- Eating something hard (Occlusal Trauma)
- Bruxism (Grinding)
In addition to the above causes, patients should be aware of additional risk factors. Eating acidic foods also increases the chances of cracking a tooth.
How to Repair a Cracked Tooth
If you crack a tooth there are different methods that can be used to resolve the issue. The method chosen by your dentist will depend on the tooth impacted and the type of crack.
Dental crowns are a custom-fit solution for a cracked or broken tooth. A crown can be blended to fit in with your natural teeth in color and shape while filling the gaps in teeth that the crack or break has caused. When there is a crack in a tooth, crowning it will help brace the tooth together to prevent the crack from extending. If a fracture is very deep it may need a root canal, and worse, if it runs down the root, extraction may be needed. We encourage you to follow up on any chips or cracks to catch them early.
If your cracked tooth is small and doesn’t require extensive work then your dentist may recommend dental bonding. Dental bonding is a direct application and is thus a one-visit treatment as opposed to a two-visit treatment like a crown or partial crown (onlay).
Does a Broken Tooth Require an Emergency Visit?
If you crack a tooth it should be considered a dental emergency. Patients that are experiencing excessive bleeding, missing the whole or large piece of the tooth, in extreme pain should call their dental office immediately. Small chips and breaks can be smoothed out at a later appointment and are not considered a dental emergency.