Having a cracked tooth is an unsettling experience. The tooth typically hurts, and people are unsure what the next step should be. Unfortunately, there’s no single answer for all cracked teeth: some have to be repaired with crowns, while others may need a root canal and a crown to save the tooth. If the crack is extensive, sometimes the only treatment is an extraction and replacement of the tooth with either a bridge or an implant. A precise answer on how a cracked tooth is treated requires proper diagnosis and classification by a dentist. There are two main ways to check how a broken tooth needs to be addressed.
Kim et al. (2013)
This diagnosis process is based on symptoms currently experienced by a patient. If a patient has mild cold sensitivity and discomfort on biting, the tooth is treated with a provisional crown. If this treatment resolves the symptoms, a final crown would be completed. After this, the tooth is monitored for six months. On the other hand, if this doesn’t work, root canal therapy should be performed next. Such step by step process insures the proper and possibly more conservative treatment.
According to Rivera, the initial step is to find where the crack is located. Then, the dentist checks if segments are detachable. After that, the type of damage or fracture is determined. Finally, it is ascertained how to treat this specific fracture.
Where Is the Crack/Fracture Located?
The severity of a cracked tooth can vary widely based on its location on the tooth. Is it on the cusp of the tooth? The pulpal floor? Is it supracrestal, which is above the crest of the bone, or subcrestal, which is below the crest of the bone. These are challenging questions, and it’s critical to talk to a dentist.
Difference Between Complete and Incomplete Fractures
A complete fracture/crack travels through the tooth. Such fracture makes repair more complicated, if not impossible, and may require an extraction. An incomplete crack implies that it hasn’t gone through the entire tooth, and there’s still a chance of repair on a case by case basis.