There’s nothing quite like the pain of a cracked tooth. It’s hard to describe, but you know the discomfort of damaged or exposed nerves as soon as you feel it. Though superficial cracks can go years before they cause problems, deeper and more severe cracks pose an immediate threat to your overall dental health. This is why it’s so important to learn how to treat a cracked tooth in OKC before it has a chance to get even worse.
Signs Your Tooth Is Cracked
Cracked teeth develop a few different ways. Small, superficial cracks called craze lines are very common but don’t threaten the integrity of your teeth. There are three other severe types of cracks that do demand dental attention:
- Vertical cracks that extend down the tooth. These cracks are especially serious if they extend into the gum line.
- Split tooth crack that may separate the tooth into two pieces
- Fractured cusp cracks that develop around fillings
Other than seeing the visible sign of a crack in your tooth’s enamel, these other symptoms also indicate the presence of a cracked tooth:
- Pain when chewing
- Unusual sensitivity
- Swollen gum tissue around the damaged tooth
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, notify your dentist immediately. He can use dental dye, gum probing, x-rays, and other tests to identify the location and nature of the crack.
The Best Cracked Tooth Treatment
You need to repair your cracked tooth in Oklahoma City before the cracks turns into something more serious. Only your dentist can recommend the best treatment choice for your cracked tooth based on size, location, and symptoms. They may suggest one of these four common cracked tooth treatments:
- Bonding: Bonding is used to fill cracks with plastic resin to restore function and appearance. While bonding can last quite a while, it can discolor over time and is more prone to chipping than crowns.
- Crowns: A dental crown is a small porcelain or ceramic “cap” placed over your damaged tooth. This protects your enamel, reduces pain, and prevents future damage. Dental crowns are often the best cracked tooth repair due to being very durable and they function just like your natural tooth.
- Root Canal: Some severe cracks can’t be treated with bonding or crowns alone. If a crack extends into the deeper layers of your tooth where the nerves are located, a root canal may be necessary to remove the damaged pulp and nerves. This procedure saves teeth that would otherwise die from infection. A crown may then be placed after the root canal procedure.
- Extraction: In the most serious situations, only tooth removal can prevent additional damage and stop the pain of a cracked tooth. If this is the case, placing a dental implant after the extraction will ensure your teeth don’t shift and get your mouth back to full function.
How to Protect Your Teeth in the Future
If you want to protect your smile from the pain and discomfort of another cracked tooth, work with your dentist to identify your risk factors. Pressure from teeth grinding, chewing on hard foods and objects, and age all make your teeth more prone to cracking.
An experienced Oklahoma City dentist like Dr. Grace Jun can help you take preventative measures to safeguard your teeth from damage and keep your smile strong and healthy.