From Chips to Craze Lines: All About Cracked Teeth
You may be wondering, “What does a cracked tooth have to do with endodontics?” Great question! In fact, it has everything to do with endodontics! You see, without fractured, chipped and broken teeth, there would be almost no need for root canal therapy ever!
Here are some of the most common types of tooth fractures, and what can be done about them:
Cracked Tooth: When we think of a cracked tooth, we are talking about a crack on the crown that extends down toward the root. If the crack has not reached the pulp yet, your dentist may be able to save the tooth with a crown. If it has reached the pulp, we may treat you with a root canal first to remove the pulp and place a crown for protection.
Chipped Tooth: As long as the pulp hasn’t been affected, your dentist can place a crown to fix your chipped tooth.
Craze Lines: These tiny cracks are common in adults and only exist in the outer enamel. They are not a problem and require no treatment.
Fractured Cusp: Many times, an old filling will give way and a piece of the tooth’s chewing surface will break off. If the pulp is exposed, we will perform a root canal prior to the crown to remove the pulp and save the tooth.
Split Tooth: Split all the way down to the roots, a tooth in this state cannot be saved 100%. However, sometimes a root canal treatment and crown can help to save part of the tooth. Often a split tooth started off as simply a cracked tooth, which is why it’s so important to get care early on if you have any tooth injury!
Vertical Root Fracture: In this scenario, the fracture starts at the bottom of the root of the tooth and extends upward toward the crown. Often they go unnoticed until the bone and gum become infected. Sometimes extraction is necessary. However, we will check first to see if we can save the tooth by removing the fractured portion with endodontic surgery.