A crack in your tooth’s enamel can form a staging ground for harmful decay and constitutes a grave threat to the tooth’s structural integrity. Cracked teeth can be caused by bad oral habits such as crunching hard foods, or clenching and grinding the teeth, or they can be caused by an accident such as a fall or a blow to the face during sports.
The severity and location of the crack will determine how Dr. Mark DeVuyst will fix it. A crack is defined by what part of the tooth it affects. For example, if just part of the chewing surface of the tooth is broken off, it’s called a fractured cusp. A fractured tooth is when a vertical crack extends from the biting surface of the tooth down towards the root. It can sometimes form into a split tooth if the crack extends too far and separates the tooth into parts. And other times, a crack can start at the root and extend upward. These are hard to detect, and the surrounding tissue and bone are often infected before they are discovered.
Depending on the location of the crack, a fractured cusp can be treated with either a filling or a crown. A cracked tooth is treatable with a crown if the crack does not extend below the gumline – it will need to be extracted – or into the pulp. If it does extend into the pulp, the tooth might be saved by a root canal treatment and crown. A split tooth cannot be saved intact, but part of it might, depending on the fracture’s location and extent. A tooth with a fractured root will most likely be extracted, but can occasionally be saved by a procedure that removes the cracked portion.
If you’ve recently cracked a tooth, contact Dentist 4 Life - Mark DeVuyst DDS, PC in Clinton Township, Michigan, today to schedule a consultation with our dentist. We will be happy to assist you.