Crowning a Cracked Tooth
When a tooth is cracked, it’s often best to protect the tooth by placing a crown to protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking.
Symptoms of a cracked tooth
Some teeth look cracked, but may not be a problem. One kind of hairline crack, called a “craze,” occurs over time in the enamel layer of the tooth, and it may not require immediate treatment.
Why do teeth crack?
Teeth also lose strength when tooth structure is lost, as with root canal therapy or large areas of decay. Teeth can easily break off when the crack is next to large fillings. Chewing on ice, unpopped popcorn, hard candy, and other hard objects can weaken teeth, and these habits can fracture teeth that are already weak. And finally, teeth can crack or fracture because of an injury or accident.
Diagnosis and treatment
There are several types of crowns, including gold, porcelain fused to metal, and porcelain. If your tooth needs a crown, we’ll talk with you about the best kind for your situation.
It’s important to evaluate and treat cracks as soon as possible because they can grow quickly. If a crack reaches the tooth’s nerve, bacteria can infect the tooth, and root canal therapy may be required to save it. If the crack extends to the root, the tooth may need to be extracted.
To prevent a cracked tooth from breaking and to seal out bacteria and infection, we often recommend placing a crown over the tooth.
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