How is a cracked tooth fixed?
The way to fix a cracked tooth is not black and white. Lots of factors need to be looked at to make a decision that will help the tooth.
The first step is often to cut the filling out of the tooth if one is present. Then look closely at the crack. Depending on what the dentist finds, there is different treatment options.
Sometimes the crack can be removed, and the tooth may only need to have a filling.
A common treatment for cracked teeth is to cover the tooth with a crown. This treatment works by placing a strong cover of over the top of the tooth. This holds the tooth together so that it does not hurt when you bite. It also tries to stop the crack getting worse.
Cracks that run vertically from the top of the tooth towards the gums may be harder to fix. If these cracks are severe, sometimes the only treatment is to remove the tooth.
The dentist will check if the nerve in the tooth with the crack is healthy. If the nerve is not healthy, the tooth may need a root canal treatment. If the dentist or root canal specialist doing the root canal treatment find that the cracks travels into the nerve in the middle of the tooth, they may say that the treatment is no longer possible. If they think the crack is too bad, they may say to take the tooth out instead. A dental microscope may be needed to help the dentist or specialist see the crack. After the root canal treatment is finished, it is common to need a crown to help protect the tooth.
An example of a dental microscope.
Sometimes a temporary treatment is done to see if the tooth’s symptoms go away. A temporary crown or metal band is placed around the tooth, holding it tightly. If the tooth has no symptoms after the temporary treatment, the dentist may suggest treating the tooth with a crown. The crown is a stronger treatment that can last longer. It helps to protect the tooth to stop more cracking int he future.
Your dentist will talk to you about the chances of the cracked tooth surviving in the future. It is different for every person and every tooth. Your dentist’s advice is a guide. Knowing how long the tooth will last may not be able to be predicted. If your tooth needs to be removed, your dentist can provide advice and treatment on how to replace it.