You’ve been told your tooth has a crack in it. What now? Fortunately, this isn’t the end of the world! Depending on the depth, location and size, there are many things we can do to treat a crack in a tooth.
Treatment may involve a simple repair of the tooth with a filling or a crown. A filling, is essentially glue that is bonded to the tooth. A crown is a cap that sits over your tooth, which helps protect and strengthen the tooth. (Ask your dentist to show you one next time you are in for a checkup.) With advances in technology, some dentists can make a crown right in the clinic and install it in the same day!
A more severe crack, involving the nerve of the tooth, may give you pain and discomfort, ranging from erratic pain when you chew your food to sudden pain when your tooth is exposed to very hot or cold temperatures.
The longer a simple crack is left untreated, the more likely the chance of the crack becoming more complex, presenting a greater risk of the tooth needing further complicated treatment.
When a crack is so extensive that it extends into the nerve, your dentist may recommend a root canal procedure to remove the damaged nerve and any infection in the tooth. Once the root canal procedure is completed, your dentist usually advises placing a crown on the tooth to insure the longevity of the tooth.
However, if the structure of the tooth, and the roots that lie below it, are very damaged (by cracks or decay), removing the tooth may be your only option.
This is why it’s so important to treat cracks as early, to prevent these scenarios from manifesting. A crack is like a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode at any given moment if the right amount of force is applied. A common misconception is that cracks can heal on their own. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many people grind their teeth at night and put their teeth through violent forces for sustained periods, causing extreme stress and cracking to their teeth. Once again, a routine examination from a dentist should diagnose this condition. In such conditions, your dentist may recommend wearing a nightguard to protect your teeth while sleeping.
See your dentist regularly and be sure you are well assessed for cracks in your teeth