Cracked Tooth? No Problem!

A simple X-ray performed by an orthodontist can let you know just how much damage a cracked tooth has sustained. Depending on the type of crack, there are many different treatment options available. After an exam, the experts at Melbourne Orthodontics in Melbourne, will go to work in repairing the cracked tooth. In certain cases, we may refer you to a restorative dentist or an endodontic surgeon to complete the treatment. It all depends on the type of cracked tooth that you have and the extent of the damage. Here’s a look at the different types of cracked teeth and how they are treated.

Craze Lines

A craze line is a crack in the outer shell of the tooth, known as the enamel. This is one of the simplest and least serious types of tooth crack, because it is primarily cosmetic. A simple dental bonding agent or a veneer from a cosmetic dentist can fill the crack and prevent further damage to the tooth.

Fractured Cusp

This type of crack happens when a piece of a tooth breaks off, usually when the patient bites down on something. It usually happens near a filling. A fractured cusp usually doesn’t even cause any pain, because this type of crack does not extend to the tooth’s root pulp. This type of crack can sometimes be corrected with a new filling. Bigger fractures will require the installation of a dental crown.

Cracked Tooth

This is obviously the most common type of cracked tooth that is being referred to when someone says they have a “cracked tooth.” The crack extends downward from the top of the tooth (the chewing surface). The tooth has not broken into separate pieces yet, but the crack will get worse over time if untreated. A dental crown can protect the tooth with this type of crack. If the crack extends into the pulp of the tooth, treatment will first involve a root canal, followed by installation of a crown.

The situation is different if the crack extends from the top of the tooth down past the gum line. In this situation, the tooth is no longer salvageable and will need to be extracted. That’s not the end of the world. A missing tooth can then be replaced with a dental implant or a partial bridge that will look as natural as the original tooth.

Split Tooth

A split tooth is a serious condition that can result if a cracked tooth is left untreated for too long. Early intervention with a Melbourne orthodontist is always the best option, so don’t hesitate to call us and set up an appointment.

A split tooth results when a crack spreads from the chewing surface of the tooth, down past the gum line, to the bottom of the tooth’s root. The tooth has basically been separated into two pieces after the crack spreads all the way through it. This is usually extremely painful for the patient, and the fully split tooth often allows infection to spread into the interior of the root pulp and the gums. This type of cracked tooth usually has to be extracted. In certain situations, an endodontic surgery may be able to preserve a portion of the tooth, which can then be fitted with a crown. Otherwise, a dental implant may be the best option to replace the extracted tooth.

Vertical Root Fracture

A vertical root fracture happens when the root of a tooth — below the gum line — becomes cracked. Patients with this type of cracked tooth usually don’t show any symptoms or feel any pain. The crack is only discovered on X-rays after the gums or surrounding bone tissue become infected. An endodontic surgery can sometimes remove the cracked portion of the tooth’s root. This will keep the rest of the tooth intact. Otherwise, the tooth will have to be extracted and can be replaced with a dental implant.

Call Melbourne Orthodontics if You Have a Cracked Tooth!

A cracked tooth isn’t the end of the world, but if it is causing you pain, it’s important to get it examined quickly. Melbourne Orthodontics specializes in braces and Invisalign in Melbourne, but your overall oral health is very important to us. Contact us to schedule an appointment if you have a cracked tooth or any other type of concern.