Cracks are common occurrences on molars because they bear much force and impact when chewing food. So, it’s not surprising that you’ll probably experience a cracked tooth. If you have a cracked tooth, don’t panic because the condition is treatable.
Read on to discover the symptoms of a cracked tooth and how a professional dentist can fix the problem.
Understanding the Difference Between a Cracked Tooth and a Chipped Tooth
Cracks on the molars commonly occur at the back and side of the mouth where most chewing of food takes place.
A cracked tooth can occur as a result of many factors. For instance, if you play sport, an injury to your mouth may cause cracked teeth. Moreover, lifestyle activities like crunching hard food may damage the enamel, leading to cracks.
On the other hand, a chipped tooth mainly occurs in the front teeth. The condition may affect the strength of the enamel, depending on the damage and the impacted tooth’s position.
Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth
A closer examination of the teeth in a mirror may reveal tiny vertical cracks on the enamel. In addition, you may feel a rough chip by rubbing your tongue on the affected tooth. Since the tiny cracks are often limited to the outer tooth layer, you shouldn’t worry because they are not painful.
However, in severe cases, you may feel pain and sensitivity on the affected tooth when biting or chewing food. If the crack is deeper, the pain may be severe around the gums.
Treatment of a Cracked Tooth
Treatment for a cracked tooth usually depends on the severity of the condition. Notably, fixing a cracked tooth requires a more invasive approach than a chipped tooth. A deeper or wider crack may also need a specialized procedure such as a root canal therapy.
Below are treatment options for a cracked tooth:
A dental crown is a special tooth-shaped cap covering the teeth. It is a standard treatment used for patients experiencing pain when chewing or drinking. Dental crowns are made of metal, resin, ceramics, or porcelain-fused metals.
Before installing a porcelain crown, the dentist files away the remaining enamel and then builds a structure to lay the crown. Later, the dentist will cement the crown to protect your tooth and improve its appearance.
Dental bonding is a simple procedure to repair minor tooth cracks using a special filling. The process involves etching the outer surface of the enamel with a gel to enable the filling to stick. Afterward, the dentist applies a tooth-colored resin, shapes the filling, and hardens it using ultraviolet light.
Root Canal Therapy
Sometimes, a crack extends deep into the tooth, exposing the nerves and the blood vessels. If left untreated, bacteria may enter the gap leading to severe infection of the pulp.
The root canal procedure is a special therapy used to remove the dead pulp, clean the root canal, and seal it against bacterial infection. The process begins with an x-ray, followed by an anesthetic to minimize pain. The dentist will then extract the pulp and fix a crown for enhanced protection.
Tooth extraction is usually the last resort in fixing a cracked tooth. It is primarily effective if a severe crack extends below the gum line. After an extraction, the dentist will replace your natural tooth with a dental implant.
Do you have a cracked or chipped tooth? It is advisable to seek immediate dental treatment. Contact Austin Dental Specialty Group to request an appointment for specialized treatment.