Fixing a Cracked Tooth

Posted on 09/17/2019

Firmly anchored in your jaw and protected by an outer coating of tough enamel, your teeth are remarkably strong — yet it's still possible for them to chip, crack, or even break. For example, biting down on hard objects, receiving a blow to the mouth, or having large cavities (or old amalgam fillings) weakens the structure of the tooth resulting in tooth fractures.

Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates is a trusted pediatric dentistry in the Sugar Land and Wharton, TX area that can provide effective treatment for a cracked tooth. From small chips to deep fractures, our pediatric dentistry has a number of treatment options for a cracked tooth. If your child is experiencing any symptoms of a cracked tooth, schedule an appointment with our Sugar Land or Wharton, TX office now.

Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

Take a closer look at the types of fractures teeth can develop, the symptoms they may produce, and potential dental treatments.

Minor Cracks (craze lines)

These tiny fissures in the outer enamel of the tooth often cause few or no symptoms, and in many cases don't require treatment. It is important, however, to have a pediatric dentist evaluate the crack to determine if your child needs dental treatment.

Vertical Cracks

This type of crack often starts at the chewing surface and extends down toward the roots, but it may also begin in the root and continue up toward the crown. Either way, the cracked tooth doesn't completely separate into two parts. Depending on the extent of the fracture, your child may only feel minor discomfort that occurs in response to temperature changes, such as drinking hot or cold beverages. In some cases, this type of cracked tooth may produce sharp pain when your child is chewing. You shouldn't ignore the symptoms, because a cracked tooth requires dental treatment quickly to keep it from progressing further. If the crack continues to develop, tooth extraction may become necessary.

Deep Fractures or Split Teeth

When serious fractures occur, you and your child will know it! The distinct parts of the tooth can be separated from each other, and the tooth's pulp is often inflamed and painful. This condition requires immediate evaluation and treatment from a dentist. Unfortunately, a tooth that is severely fractured is hard to save. If the tooth has to be extracted, dental implants will become necessary to replace the lost tooth.

Evaluating a Cracked Tooth

When you come to our Sugar Land or Wharton, TX location, your child's pediatric dentist will examine the cracked tooth to determine the severity of the crack and if it has penetrated the dentin, which is the inner body of the tooth. Your child's pediatric dentist will most likely use a dental explorer to feel the crack, take X-rays, or have your child close down on a bite stick. Your child's pediatric dentist may also use special dye stains or high-magnification dental instruments to see the crack better.

Treatment for Cracked Teeth

The treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the extent of the crack and the severity of the damage. If a small crack is detected early, it's often possible to seal the fissure with dentistry materials. For larger cracks that involve the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment is generally required. Afterward, the visible structure of the tooth may be restored with a dental crown. Sometimes, additional procedures may be recommended to try and save the tooth. In the most severe cases, however, the tooth will most likely need to be extracted.

Preventing Cracked Teeth

To best protect your children's teeth from receiving one of these problematic cracks, our pediatric dentists recommend they:

  • Wear proper protective equipment, such as a custom-fitted mouthguard when playing sports.
  • Stay alert when engaging in any physically-involved activities.
  • Have regular dental check-ups at our Sugar Land or Wharton, TX office to keep their teeth strong and healthy.
  • Have their parents keep an eye out for early signs of dental problems.

Take Care of Cracked Teeth Today

If your child experiences any symptoms that indicate he or she may have a cracked tooth, don't delay in making an appointment at our Sugar Land or Wharton, TX office. The sooner it's treated, the better chance our pediatric dentists have of saving the cracked tooth!

Call us today at: (281) 565-5437!