Cracked Tooth

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth refers to a fracture in the tooth structure, varying from superficial lines on the enamel to deep cracks extending into the root. Cracked teeth can cause pain and discomfort and compromise oral health.  

Treatment options for a cracked tooth include dental bonding for minor cracks, crowns for moderate to severe fractures, root canal therapy for pulp damage cases, or extraction as a last resort. These treatments restore tooth integrity, alleviate pain, and prevent further complications, preserving natural teeth and maintaining oral function and aesthetics. Seeking timely treatment for cracked teeth is crucial for long-term dental health and overall well-being.

Causes of Cracked Teeth 

Biting Forces 

One of the primary causes of cracked teeth is excessive biting forces exerted on the teeth. This can occur due to habits such as chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, or fingernails or clenching and grinding teeth, a condition known as bruxism. Over time, these biting forces can weaken the tooth structure, leading to fractures and cracks. 


Direct trauma or injury to the mouth can result in cracked teeth. Accidents, falls, or sports-related injuries can cause fractures in the teeth, especially if the impact is significant. Traumatic injuries may result in immediate pain and visible cracks on the tooth surface, requiring prompt dental attention to prevent further damage. 

Age and Wear 

As teeth age, they become more susceptible to cracking due to natural wear and tear. Over time, the enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth, may wear down, making the tooth more vulnerable to fractures. Additionally, dental restorations such as fillings or crowns may weaken the tooth structure, increasing the risk of cracks, especially if the restoration is large or poorly fitting. 

Tooth Decay 

Untreated tooth decay can weaken the tooth's structure and make it more prone to cracking. Decay that extends deep into the tooth can compromise its integrity, leading to fractures. It is essential to address cavities promptly through dental fillings or other restorative treatments to prevent further damage to the tooth. Contact us today! 

Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth 

  • Pain when biting or chewing, especially when releasing the bite. 
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, particularly in the affected tooth. 
  • Discomfort comes and goes, making it challenging to pinpoint the source of pain. 
  • Swelling of the gums around the affected tooth. 
  • Visible cracks or fractures on the tooth surface may or may not be accompanied by pain. 

Cracked Tooth Treatment Options 

Dental Bonding 

Dental bonding, or tooth-colored or composite bonding, is a minimally invasive treatment option for minor cracks and chips. During the procedure, the dentist in Pittsburg, KS, applies a tooth-colored composite resin material to the affected area, shaping it to match the natural contours of the tooth. The resin is then hardened with a special curing light, bonding it to the tooth and restoring its appearance and function.

Dental bonding is a quick and cost-effective solution for improving the aesthetics of cracked teeth, although it may only be suitable for some extensive fractures. 

Dental Crown 

A dental crown, or cap, may be recommended for more significant cracks that compromise the tooth's structural integrity. A crown is a custom-made restoration that covers the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gumline, providing protection and reinforcement.  

The procedure typically involves preparing the tooth by removing a small amount of enamel to accommodate the crown, taking impressions for fabrication, and placing a temporary crown while the permanent one is being made. Once the permanent crown is ready, it is cemented, restoring the tooth's strength, function, and appearance.  

Dental crowns in Pittsburg, KS, are durable, long-lasting solutions that effectively address moderate to severe cracks, offering cosmetic and functional benefits.  

Root Canal Therapy 

When a crack extends into the tooth's pulp chamber, causing pain, sensitivity, or risk of infection, root canal therapy may be necessary to save the tooth. During the procedure, the dentist at Smile Solutions removes the infected or inflamed pulp tissue, cleans and disinfects the root canals, and fills them with a biocompatible material to seal the tooth's interior. After root canal therapy, a dental crown is often placed on the tooth to provide additional protection and support.

Root canal therapy is a highly effective treatment for relieving pain and preserving the natural tooth, although it may require multiple appointments and follow-up care. 

Tooth Extraction 

Extraction may be the only option in cases of severe cracks or fractures where the tooth cannot be saved. While tooth extraction is typically considered a last resort, it may be necessary if the crack extends below the gum line, compromises the surrounding bone and tissue, or cannot be adequately restored with other treatment options. Following tooth extraction, various replacement options, such as dental implants, bridges, or removable dentures, may be considered to restore chewing function and aesthetics. 

A cracked tooth can be a painful and concerning dental problem, but timely intervention and appropriate treatment can alleviate discomfort and preserve oral health. If you suspect you have a cracked tooth or are experiencing dental pain or discomfort, visit Smile Solutions at 611 North Broadway Suite B, Pittsburg, KS 66762, or call (620) 231-4140 to consult our dentist for evaluation and personalized care. Your smile deserves the best possible care, and promptly addressing a cracked tooth is essential to achieving lasting oral health and comfort.

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