Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth is quite common. Around 7% of patients experience this dental problem and are left with very few options to save the tooth. The dentist will have to assess the extent of the crack to see how deep it is and offer appropriate treatment options accordingly.

Advice: If a tooth is still intact you can feel if part of the tooth is cracked by biting on a tight handkerchief between the suspected teeth. On opening the mouth if there is tooth pain, a tooth cusp most likely has a crack. Your dentist will have to assess the crack to give you appropriate options to save the tooth but most importantly ensure the tooth pain does not get worse.

Cracked Tooth FAQs

What should I do if my tooth is cracked?

You must seek a dentist’s opinion as soon as possible. A crack in a tooth can be quite tricky to fix. Plus a crack in the tooth will weaken it and therefore it will be liable to cracking further if the tooth is not repaired soon. This can result in unbearable tooth pain.

How do you repair cracked teeth?

Different options are available depending on the size of the crack.

Small  – the crack can potentially be monitored with no treatment or have a sealant placed over the crack.

Medium – the cracked portion may need to be removed and a filling placed.

Large - if the tooth is restorable the cracked portion will need to be removed and a restoration placed. Possibly a full crown (crash helmet) for the tooth may be indicated as this will encase the cracked portion and strengthen the structure.

Very large – if the crack is too big to repair or involves the root, the tooth may not be restorable and may require extraction. If this is the case you should discuss the options for replacing the tooth with your dentist.

Will my cracked tooth cause an infection?

It is unlikely that a crack will lead to an infection although the cracked portion may move and allow bacteria to spread inside the tooth. It is therefore very important that you visit the dentist as soon as possible to assess the severity of the cracked tooth.

Can a cracked tooth be saved with root canal?

If the crack involves the roots containing the nerves of the tooth a root canal may be needed to save the tooth. This can only be diagnosed once the dentist has examined the tooth. The dentist may need to take a radiograph of the tooth to decide if root canal treatment is needed. If this root crack is very deep, a root canal treatment may not even be possible.