Whether injured while playing sports or damaged while eating a certain food or using your teeth as a tool to open a package or bottle, a small crack in your tooth can lead to big problems. This crack may seem to affect the look of your tooth only, but over time, even the smallest crack can spread, breaking your tooth while allowing food and bacteria to seep in. If you recently cracked your tooth, help is available. Here are a few options your dentist may recommend to fix your cracked tooth.
A crown is one of the most common options for restoring a cracked tooth, but it is only an option for a minor crack. If a crack has developed in the main part of the tooth only, a crown may be recommended. It is important to note that crowns are not solutions if the crown has extended from the main part of the tooth to pulp and roots, a more involved treatment will be necessary.
A crown can be placed directly over the main part of the tooth, covering the crack while preventing it from spreading. This crown will also protect the tooth and pulp from food residue, bacteria, and even air, which can cause discomfort.
Root Canal and Crown
If the crack extends farther into the tooth and well into the pulp and roots, your dentist will recommend a root canal procedure. This procedure is essential for cleaning out any infected pulp that may be lingering in the cracked area, reducing the risk of painful infections and a complete loss of the tooth.
After cleaning out the cracked area of the tooth, a crown will then be placed to protect the tooth from further damage. Most dentists will suggest extracting the tooth if the crack extends into the gum tissue because the root canal is not usually effective for saving a tooth with this severe damage.
Porcelain veneers can also be used to restore a tooth that has a minor crack. Veneers are thin covers that are placed directly on the surface of the teeth after a thin layer of enamel is removed. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort because of the damaged tooth, a root canal treatment may be necessary to ensure the tooth is not infected before placing the veneers.
Because veneers are secured to the surface of the tooth, your tooth should be strong enough to support this method of restoration. Again, most fine cracks that do not extend into the pulp or gum tissue can be restored with veneers. For more information, contact a dental office like Milner Dentistry.