Breaking a tooth can be a jarring experience. In that moment, you may not be sure what to do, especially if you’re struck by pain and worried that you’ve lost the tooth. These are normal concerns, but it’s important to keep in mind that an endodontist can often repair the crack and salvage your tooth.
These professionals focus on resolving pain by repairing the inside of the tooth. While they’re renowned as root canal specialists, they can be particularly helpful if you suffer a fractured tooth.
How Endodontists Treat Different Tooth Fractures
There are so many culprits that may be to blame for your cracked tooth. Biting down on something hard, like a popcorn kernel or a piece of candy, could do it. So can grinding your teeth or a traumatic incident, like a fall or an accident.
Endodontists can treat your fractured tooth no matter what the cause. However, there are different kinds of tooth fractures, which means the course of treatment will be different, too.
- Craze: Sometimes referred to as craze lines, these are essentially cracks in the surface of the tooth. They are usually quite superficial and may be more aesthetically displeasing than anything else. If you’re concerned about its appearance, your dentist may recommend a cosmetic dentistry service such as veneers or even a whitening treatment to conceal the line.
- Cusp: Sometimes a part of the chewing area of your tooth breaks away. That’s known as a cusp fracture. Unless it runs very deep, it’s not likely to cause you pain. However, your endodontist might suggest treatment with a filling or a crown, depending on the depth of the damage. Root canals are only necessary to treat cusp fractures when the damage affects the pulp of the tooth.
- Crack: Actual cracks run south from the tooth’s chewing surface to the root. Left untreated, these types of cracks tend to become worse with time. Once it reaches the pulp, your endodontist will typically perform a root canal to salvage your tooth. Cracks can only be treated when they don’t fall below the gum line. Otherwise, extraction is the next line of defense.
- Split: Once the tooth splits into two pieces, it’s not possible to bring them back together again. However, it’s possible that your endodontist might be able to salvage some of your tooth depending on where the fracture is on your tooth and how it developed.
- Vertical root fracture: This type of fracture starts at the root and works its way to the crown. Unfortunately, this kind of crack is not always obvious because it doesn’t cause immediate pain. You may not know there’s an issue until the surrounding gums and the bone develop discomfort due to infection. Usually extraction is the solution, but your endodontist might be able to salvage your tooth in more minor cases.
How Fractured Teeth Heal
Once your endodontist treats the fracture, you can expect it to feel much better. The treatment should stop the pain and prevent the damage from recurring or getting worse.
However, a tooth isn’t like a bone that eventually generates new bone after a fracture occurs. The crack remains there, but applying a crown is one of the most effective ways to support your tooth and prevent it from growing.
It’s just as important to note that your fractured tooth should feel “normal” once treatment is complete. You’ll be able to chew, talk, brush, and floss your teeth as you normally do. Keep in mind that your endodontist might recommend that you wear a mouthguard if you participate in physical activities to prevent further damage. If you grind your teeth, you may benefit from wearing a retainer at night.
Fractured Tooth Treatment at Imperial Dental Associates
Don’t delay treatment of a tooth fracture. Trust in the team at Imperial Dental Associates to relieve your pain and discomfort by devising a treatment plan that’s tailored to your unique needs. These skilled professionals are proud to serve patients throughout Westport, CT, and surrounding areas. Call 203-227-2520 to schedule an appointment today.