Cracked Teeth

There are several different types of cracked teeth. If your tooth has large(r) fillings in the tooth, your tooth and your bite could make your teeth more susceptible to cracks. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location, and extent of the crack, as well as your bite.

Craze Lines

Craze lines are the smallest of cracks. These are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel and extremely common in adult teeth. Craze lines are very shallow, and often do not cause any symptoms or pain. Oftentimes, they are insignificant and no treatment is required.

Fractured Cusp/s

When the pointy part of the tooth (the cusp) becomes weakened (as a result most often from large fillings and/or malocclusion), a fracture can sometimes result. The weakened cusp may break off by itself or may have to be removed by the dentist. After such a break or removal, usually the tooth can be saved. In a few instances after this occurs, root canal therapy might be needed if the fracture occurred to closely to the "nerve." If a root canal is needed, or it is not needed, it is strongly recommended that your tooth be restored with a full crown by your dentist.

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth has a crack that extends from the chewing surface of the tooth vertically towards the root tip. A cracked tooth may not completely be separated into two distinct segments. Nevertheless, these types of long-standing cracks often damage the pulp ("nerve"). Root canal treatment is often needed to treat the injured pulp and alleviate your symptoms (if symptomatic). After root canal therapy, your dentist will restore your tooth with a crown to keep the splinted pieces together thereby protecting the cracked tooth. In such cases when the crack extends below the gingiva ("gums"), such a crack *might* require tooth extraction. If you opt to save the tooth regardless of the crack, these cases do not have a favorable long-term prognosis. Early diagnosis is critical. Even with high-magnification, lighting, operating microscopes and technology, it can be difficult to determine the extent of a crack. But, a cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in only one option for the tooth - extraction and loss of the tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in saving these teeth.