Cracked Tooth: Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to diagnose cracked tooth syndrome, your dentist will first perform a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth, focusing on the area that's painful.

They will usually take an x-ray of the painful area, which may or may not reveal the fracture, and they will analyze your bite to isolate the problem. Once the fractured part of your tooth is identified, your dentist will recommend the treatment depending on the location and direction of the fracture, as well as the extent of the damage.

Cracked Tooth: Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Your teeth have three layers, and if the crack only affects the outer enamel layer, then your dentist can remove the offending crack and stabilize it with a crown or onlay. This will also protect it from breaking further and will seal out bacteria and infection.
  • If the crack involves the underlying dentin layer, then the treatment could be more involved. Your dentist may recommend building up the tooth prior to placing a crown.
  • If the crack affects the pulp layer (the center-most part of the tooth), then you will need more complicated treatment, such as a root canal, before a crown can be placed.
  • In rare cases, a crack will extend throughout the entire tooth and under the bone. In these cases, there is no way to restore your tooth and your dentist will most likely recommend having it extracted.
Fortunately, most cracked teeth can be saved. The key is to find the crack early in its development and treat it appropriately. If you think you have a cracked tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible to have it evaluated.

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