A cracked tooth may turn into a larger problem if not treated quickly. Our tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our body (even harder than our bones) and is designed to endure considerable wear and tear. However, over time, if your tooth enamel is exposed to stresses such as grinding, clenching and chewing hard objects, your enamel will eventually start to break down, leaving you with cracks and porous teeth.
The most common cause of a cracked tooth is old amalgam fillings. These amalgam fillings slowly expand over time, causing fractures in the process. If you have this type of filling, it is a good idea to replace them every 15 years.
Cracked teeth result in a range of symptoms:
- Pain when eating, especially when releasing the pressure you put on your tooth when chewing
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Intermittent pain, which can be either slight or severe.
Our Cracked Tooth Repair Procedure
We will carefully assess your cracked tooth symptoms using a ‘crack finder’ and, with the help of x-rays of your tooth, we will be able to determine the extent of damage to your tooth. Then, we will tailor a course of repair treatment specifically for your problem, which may include a number of options:
- Simple white filling replacement
- A temporary metal band may ben placed around your tooth to hold it together, allowing us to determine symptoms and the best possible treatment further over the coming days.
- Porcelain Crown
- Gold Crown
- Root Canal Therapy, followed by a Porcelain Crown or Gold Crown
- Full crowns, veneered and indirect restoration
- Extraction (if root is also cracked and the tooth cannot be saved)
Why Fix A Cracked Tooth
Left untreated, a cracked tooth can lead to a number of quite painful, and in some cases, severe problems:
- Nerve damage, and even the death of your nerve can occur. An abscess might even form underneath your tooth. If this occurs, we can treat the area with root canal treatment.
- In very serious cases, your tooth can actually split in two. If this occurs, unfortunately, we will not be able to save your tooth. It will need to be extracted.
How to Prevent a Cracked Tooth
While it is next to impossible to prevent a cracked tooth entirely, there are a few simple steps that you can take to help ensure that your teeth are less prone to cracking:
- Avoid hard and crunchy foods like nuts, unpopped corn and hard lollies.
- Don’t chew on hard objects like pens and pencils.
- Avoid using your teeth to perform tasks like cracking nuts and opening packaging.
- Don’t clench or grind your teeth. And, if you are known to grind or clench your teeth, particularly in your sleep, then have a splint or dental appliance
- Make sure you wear a mouthguard if you play contact sport.