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Sports accidents, random falls, bad oral habits such as grinding or clenching teeth, and crunching on hard foods can all lead to fractured teeth. Cracked teeth should be treated as soon as possible, because if left unchecked the crack can extend through the whole tooth. If that ends up happening, it would force immediate treatment with either root canal therapy and a crown or removal of the tooth.

The appropriate treatment will be determined by the crack’s location and severity. Each type of crack is characterized by its location in the tooth. For example, a fractured cusp is when part of the chewing surfaces is broken off, but the root is unaffected. A fractured tooth has a vertical crack beginning at the biting surface and extending in the direction of the root. If that sort of crack is left alone, it can end up splitting the tooth completely. A fracture that begins at the roots is also possible, but those are much harder to detect.

Each type of fracture is treated differently. Some fractured cusps can be treated with a simple dental filling. Some fractured teeth can be treated by placing a crown around the tooth, but if the fracture extends to the root, then it really can’t be saved and will need to be extracted. You can’t really save a split tooth, but sometimes a part of it can be saved and used as the foundation for a crown. Teeth with fractured roots are generally extracted, but can sometimes be saved by cutting off the cracked portion of the root.

If you’ve recently cracked a tooth, contact Smiley Dental Garland in Dallas, Texas, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. . We will be happy to assist you.