Cracked teeth are more common than many people think. And there are several options for treating a tooth once it's diagnosed as cracked. This guide will help you understand what to do if you think your tooth is cracked.
Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth
Cracked teeth aren't always obvious to the naked eye. So, use the symptoms of cracked teeth to determine when you should go to the dentist for evaluation. If you have tooth pain, that's one sign of a cracked tooth. Sensitivity when your tooth experiences hot or cold food is another sign. Pain when your tooth is under pressure is another compelling reason for your dentist to look for tooth cracks. The pain might come when you bite down or when you release from biting. It may not be continuous.
Dental X-Rays and Examination
Some of the symptoms above resemble what you would expect with a tooth cavity. It may be hard for you to tell on your own whether you have a cavity or a cracked tooth. But if you visit your dentist and mention that you're in pain, the dentist can do comprehensive dental exams that include x-rays to spot the difference between cracks and cavities. If you have narrowed down the pain to a specific location, that also helps your dentist do one of his or her comprehensive dental exams to determine the location and severity of the tooth crack.
Cracked Tooth Repair Options
Depending on the design of the tooth crack, the dentist can recommend a few different repair options. Bonding and veneers are common when the crack is more of a cosmetic issue. These will create a new surface for the tooth and minimize the appearance of a crack.
Root canals are another choice. A big reason that cracks are a problem is that they can make your tooth pulp vulnerable by creating a route for infection or causing the tooth to put pressure on pulp and nerves. Root canals remove much of the tooth's structure as well as the nerve endings. The tooth would then be billed and a crown would be added over the root canal to protect the tooth further.
For an issue with a deep crack that is causing pain, tooth extraction is also a likely option. From there, you may get a partial implant or dental implants to replace the missing tooth. Dental implants are probably the best solution, since they mimic what your tooth naturally looks and feels like.