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CRACKED TEETH:

The treatment and outcome for cracked teeth depends on the type, location, and extent of the crack.

Craze lines are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel. These cracks are extremely common in adult teeth. Craze lines are very shallow, cause no pain, and are of no concern beyond appearances. 

When a piece of a tooth’s chewing surface breaks off, often around a filling, it’s called a FRACTURED CUSP. A fractured cusp rarely damages the nerve of the tooth and usually doesn’t cause much pain.

Treatment:  Crown to cover and protect the damaged tooth.     

A CRACKED TOOTH means a crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth vertically toward the root. The tooth is not yet separated into pieces, though the crack may gradually spread. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, therefore early diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Treatment:  Crown to cover and protect the damaged tooth and to prevent the crack from spreading. If the crack has extended into the nerve, the tooth must also be treated with a root canal procedure.

However, if the crack extends below the gum line, it is no longer treatable, and the tooth cannot be saved.

Treatment:

Extraction and replacement with a dental implant, abutment, and crown. 

A SPLIT TOOTH is often the result of the long-term progression of a cracked tooth. The split tooth is identified by a crack with distinct segments that can be separated. A split tooth cannot be saved.

Treatment:

Extraction and replacement with a dental implant, abutment, and crown.

VERTICAL ROOT FRACTURES are cracks that begin in the root of the tooth and extend toward the chewing surface. They often show minimal signs and symptoms and may therefore go unnoticed for some time. Vertical root fractures are often discovered when the surrounding bone and gum become infected.

Treatment:

Extraction and replacement with a dental implant, abutment, and crown. In rare cases, endodontic surgery can be considered if a tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured segment.

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