Dental Issues: Broken Or Cracked Teeth

cracked teeth


There are different types of tooth fractures. The various types can require different treatment methods. Let's take a look at the various tooth issues and how they are treated.

* Minor Cracks
Small cracks only affect the outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel. This type of issue rarely needs dental treatment. If the crack creates a rough spot, the dentist can polish the area to smooth out the roughness.

* Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth involves the entire tooth from the surface area to the nerve. The pieces of the tooth remain in place; however, the crack spreads. This type of damage can be filled with composite material. If the nerve or other live tissues become damaged, the dentist may recommend emergency dentistry in the form of a root canal and a dental crown.

* Chips
Minor tooth chips may not need treatment. Your dentist may recommend that the is filled with composite material to minimize the damage, make the tooth look better and prevent the chip from worsening. If the chip is small, the dentist may use a dental file to smooth out and polish the chip.

* Broken Cusp
A cusp is the chewing areas of a tooth. This type of break typically doesn't affect the living tissues and are typically painless. The dentist may be able to fill the tooth to repair the damage, or a crown may be necessary.

* Serious Breaks
These breaks are so deep that the nerve becomes exposed. Sensitivity and pain are common with a serious break. The broken area may bleed. This type of break will require a root canal to remove the nerve. After the root canal, the dentist will recommend a crown to restore normal function to the mouth so that you can chew properly.

* Split Tooth
A split tooth has been broken and splits vertically. This split creates two separate parts. Your molars (back teeth) have more than one root. Because of this, the roots may be salvaged, and the split tooth may be covered by a crown. A root canal will need to be done, and the dentist will determine if any roots need to be removed. Then, the dentist will place a crown over the roots. If the roots cannot be saved, the entire tooth will need to be removed.

*Vertical breaks
This is a crack that starts at the root and extends upwards to the tooth. Because the root area is affected, this type of break can be painful. Typically, the tooth will need to be removed.

* Decay Induced Breaks
A decay induced break is caused by a cavity. The tooth may break or crumble due to the decay. The dentist will evaluate the tooth and the cavity to determine the best method to restore the tooth. If the decay is widespread, the tooth may not be able to be saved.

As you can see, there are many different types of tooth fractures. Only your dentist will be able to determine the best treatment method for a chipped or broken tooth. If you experience a chip, crack or break, contact your dentist immediately.

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