Can you fix a cracked tooth? The quick answer is yes, in most cases. However, the treatment will depend on the severity of the damage.
While teeth are the hardest substance in your body, they are also quite vulnerable. By grinding your teeth or chewing a piece of ice, you could accidentally crack a tooth. We know how upsetting it can be to see or feel a crack in a tooth, but don’t worry. We’re here to assist with your dental emergency.
Is a cracked tooth always a dental emergency?
A minor crack in a tooth is often a cosmetic issue. In contrast, a significant fracture could pose a risk to the tooth’s integrity and demand the attention of an emergency dentist. A dental emergency is a condition that requires immediate medical assistance as it could potentially threaten an individual’s general health or wellbeing. Typically this involves severe pain, swelling that worsens, and sometimes bleeding.
The only way to know if your cracked tooth requires treatment is to visit an emergency dentist for an examination. Most dentists keep time aside in their daily schedule for patients that need urgent dental care.
How to fix a cracked tooth?
Before your appointment, consider how your tooth feels so you can explain your concerns to the dentist. Is it causing you pain? If so, does it hurt when exposed to hot or cold temperatures or when you chew your food? In addition, avoid eating on the side of the cracked tooth to prevent further damage. If you’re in pain, rinsing your mouth with salt water can be soothing. Alternatively, over-the-counter painkillers should ease your discomfort.
So, can you fix a cracked tooth?
Once your dentist has assessed the damage, they can recommend the best treatment for fixing the cracked tooth. Treatments for cracked teeth include:
- No treatment – The Australian Dental Association often recommends leaving it alone if the crack is minor and only affects the tooth enamel.
- Filling or bonding – If the crack has chipped off a small piece of tooth enamel, the dentist may repair the damage with a filling. If the crack is in a front tooth, bonding with a tooth-coloured composite resin may be a better option. Once the composite has been applied, shaped and hardened, it will match the other teeth in your smile.
- Porcelain veneer – If just the front portion of the tooth has cracked, the dentist may remove the damaged enamel and replace it with a porcelain veneer. Porcelain has similar translucent properties to tooth enamel and creates a natural-looking restoration.
- Dental crown – If the crack is relatively deep, the dentist may fix it with a filling and then cap it with a dental crown to provide additional strength and improve its appearance.
- Root canal – If a crack has impacted the pulp of the inner tooth and infected it, it’s likely to be causing severe pain and is treated as a dental emergency. In this case, the emergency dentist will remove the damaged tissue, flush out the canal, and treat it with antibiotic medication to clear any infection and eliminate the pain. A further appointment will be scheduled to place a permanent filling.
- Extraction – In severe cases, there may be no alternative but to extract the tooth.
So now you know you can fix a cracked tooth; it’s best to have it checked out by a dentist to see if treatment is necessary.
Do you have a cracked tooth?
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, why not schedule a consultation with the friendly, experienced team at My Local Dentists West Ryde to see how we can help. We provide personalised care using the latest state-of-the-art technology. Call us today on (02) 9809 7000 or use our online booking service.
Healthline: What’s The Hardest Substance In The Human Body?
Teeth.org.au: Cracked Teeth