While maintaining proper dental health is by no means rocket science, there are certain situations when serious problems can appear suddenly which might need immediate assistance. While these don’t occur very often, it’s better to be on the safe side, and at least read up about some of the potential dangers and don’t panic if they, by any chance happen.
This is why we here at Doral Sedation and Family Dentistry think it’s important to teach our patients about certain dental procedures and dental emergencies, so they can be on top of things if they happen.
In today’s blog, we will answer the question: “What to do with a cracked tooth?”
Cracked teeth can be a common problem. Doing things like biting into hard candy or ice, or even grinding your teeth can lead to cracking. Some teeth (particularly molars) are more vulnerable in this respect while others are less. Sometimes, cracked teeth aren’t a serious problem, while other times, the fall in the category of emergency dental surgeries.
No matter how severe the case is, make an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist will take a look at the tooth and determine the extent of the damage. In some cases, a cracked tooth might just be a minor cosmetic issue, while in others, it will require treatment.
What about pain?
When one of your teeth cracks, there are cases when you won’t feel pain, or only notice it when you eat or the tooth is exposed to hot or cold liquids. Make sure to pinpoint the exact location of the pain and tell your dentist. Even if the pain is mild, avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the cracked tooth is. Biting can open the crack and cause even more problems.
The extent of the damage
If the crack is minor and only affected the enamel (the hardened outer layer of the tooth), your dentist may not recommend any treatment and leave it to heel on its own. Even the American Association of Endodontists state that minor cracks are relatively common in adult teeth and they are known as craze lines. The tooth’s aesthetics in these cases can be easily improved by polishing. However, when a crack cuts through deeper than the enamel, treatment is required to prevent further complications such as infection or even deeper fracture. Depending on how severe the given case is, your dentist may recommend a crown, root canal or the total removal of the tooth. In particular cases, fillings can be used to repair the crack and a crown can stop it from getting worse. If the soft tissue inside the tooth has been damaged, root canal may be the best option, to remove damaged tissue. According to the American Dental Association, root canal can save the tooth, even when if the whole tooth has been affected.
What you should take away from all this is to be careful when you bite into hard foods because sometimes it can end up causing serious damage. If this does happen, don’t panic and reach out to your dentist and make an appointment as soon as possible. Only a dentist can properly assess the damage and will provide adequate treatment for your problem.
If you have any questions or concerns about the treatments listed above, feel free to give us a call. Here, at Doral Sedation and Family Dentistry, our goal is the explain everything in detail so you can relax and sit confidently in the dentist’s chair.