Mason City, IA
While root canal treatment is foundational to endodontics, it is not our only focus. We here at Dental Specialists and Implant Clinic of Iowa also specialize in treatments for cracked teeth. Without immediate attention, a cracked tooth has the potential to wreak havoc on your oral health!
Signs and Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth
As you can probably guess, a visual crack is the number one indicator that something is wrong. If a crack is visible, it usually means there is a major problem. Often times, your crack or fracture may not be visible to the naked eye, which is why patient education is so important!
Not every cracked tooth will produce obvious symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms usually include:
|Moderate to severe pain when biting or chewing, especially when you open your bite
|Pain that seems inexplicable or inconsistent
|Sensitivity issues when the tooth is exposed to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages
|Sensitivity issues when breathing in cold or hot air
|Inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the cracked tooth (usually an indicator of infection)
Endodontic Treatment for Cracked Teeth
Our specialists will be able to diagnose a cracked or fractured tooth during an initial consultation visit. This appointment typically involves the use of advanced diagnostic tools, such as digital x-rays, CBCT scans, or other imaging technology, especially if the crack is not initially visible. Once we determine the location and severity of the crack, we can begin treatment planning.
The type of treatment we recommend for a cracked tooth varies from person to person, depending on the specifics. The most common issues we address include:
|Craze Lines: A crack or fracture that only affects the outer enamel layer. This issue is quite common and, as long as there is no pain, does not usually require treatment. You can opt for certain cosmetic treatments if aesthetics are a concern.
|Cracks: A deep crack leaves the pulp at risk for bacterial infection. If an infection is present, we typically perform a root canal and cap the tooth with a dental crown. A crown helps hold the pieces together and restores the tooth's structure.
|Fractured Cusp: The term cusp refers to the sides of the occlusal (chewing) surface on the molars and premolars. If a piece of the cusp breaks off due to a fracture, we may suggest a dental filling or crown. If the fracture occurred due to an existing filling, a dental crown may be the best solution.
|Split Tooth: A split tooth typically occurs if an previous crack goes unnoticed, undiagnosed, and untreated for an extended period of time. In other words, a crack in the tooth worsens and causes a complete break. Unfortunately, a split tooth cannot be saved intact. Depending on the severity of the split, we may be able to remove some portion and save the rest of the tooth. Most of the time, however, an extraction and tooth replacement is the best course of action.
|Vertical Root Fracture: This type of crack starts in the root of the tooth and works its way upwards toward the occlusal surface. Vertical root fractures are usually diagnosed when the surrounding gum tissues and underlying bone become inflamed. Eventually, an infection within the tooth will cause severe pain. Much like a split tooth, extraction and replacement is often the best solution. In rare instances, endodontic microsurgery can help us save a portion of the tooth.
Schedule a Consultation Visit as Soon as Possible!
If you think you may have a cracked tooth, it is important to take action as soon as possible! Call 641-243-1486 to schedule your consultation visit today!