Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry recommends endodontics procedures for patients with cracked teeth. Endodontics is a specialty for the diagnosis and treatment of oral health concerns in the root canals of the teeth.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is used to treat damaged or infected area in the pulp of the tooth. Significant tooth decay, cracked teeth, trauma or having several dental procedures done to a tooth may result in a root canal. Once the pulp or nerve of the tooth is damaged, patients may experience symptoms such as tenderness, swelling, temperature sensitivity or an abscess that drains. Most often these teeth can be treated in the office; however we often consult with a group of experienced Endodontists (root canal specialists) in some cases.
Frequently Asked Questions About Endodontics
How do endodontics repair a cracked tooth?
Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the type of fracture in the tooth. Craze lines are tiny fractures in the enamel, or surface, of the tooth. These tiny lines can be seen on the surface of the tooth but do not cause pain. Craze lines typically do not require treatment. The cusp is the pointed part of the chewing surface of the tooth. When the cusp is fractured, a piece of the tooth may fall off, or a dentist may need to remove the broken cusp. When the fractured cusp is removed from the tooth, the pain typically resolves. In most cases, a fracture to the cusp of the tooth does not damage the pulp inside the tooth, and endodontics procedures are not required. In these cases, the dentist may use a crown to repair the tooth.
Endodontics is required for cracked and split teeth. Teeth are considered cracked when the crack extends from the chewing surface toward the root of the tooth. If the crack extends into the root, the tooth is considered untreatable and must be extracted. If the crack does not extend into the root below the gums, root canal treatment is used to repair the crack. A crown is placed over the tooth to keep the crack from splitting the tooth. If a tooth splits, the tooth may need to be extracted. In some cases, Endodontics can be used to save a portion of the split tooth.
What causes cracks in the teeth?
While teeth are designed to withstand enormous amounts of pressure, teeth may crack under certain conditions; for example, chewing on hard objects, such as ice, raw popcorn kernels, and pens may cause the teeth to crack. Clenching and grinding the teeth may also cause cracks.
What are the signs of cracked teeth?
Cracked teeth have been fractured into smaller pieces. Certain activities cause the pieces to move and rub together. Patients who report sharp pains while chewing or sensitivity to hot and cold, may have cracked teeth. The discomfort may subside and return.