Cracked teeth are a tricky dental problem that can cause pain and complications before you even realize a crack exists. Any obvious cracked tooth, of course, is a dental emergency. Whatever your circumstances, whether something is clearly wrong or you just suspect it, contact your Healdsburg dentist in Healdsburg, CA, for an assessment, diagnosis, and immediate treatment.
When a Cracked Tooth Is a Dental Emergency
Teeth are incredibly durable and strong, but cracked teeth happen and are usually a dental emergency. In cases like these, you know exactly when and how the crack occurred. Some of the most common causes of a cracked tooth include:
- Biting down wrong on a hard food
- Getting hit in the mouth
- Deteriorating dental work
- Using your teeth as a tool to open something
When a Secret Cracked Tooth Makes Itself KnownTeeth can develop hairline cracks on the enamel of the tooth or within its depths. These cracks may not be visible to the human eye, but they are noticeable when you bite down and experience sharp pain. Commonly, this problem is caused by the pressure of teeth upon teeth, but it could also exist because that seemingly innocuous crack has allowed bacteria and food particles into the tooth and caused an infection.
When your dentist examines your mouth and takes x-rays to diagnose the depth of your cracked tooth, you will find out just how deep the problem goes and what kind of repair is possible, including:
- Dental bonding: If the crack is fresh, small, and the tooth is not otherwise compromised, the crack is filled in with tooth-colored resin that protects the tooth from invasion or deterioration. The treatment is fast and non-invasive.
- Porcelain crown: When a tooth has a severe, large crack, it will need a robust repair, like a porcelain crown that acts as a cap to seal it. The crown is customized to blend with the rest of your teeth in size, shape, and color.
- Root canal therapy: When a tooth crack is so deep it extends to the pulp of the tooth, you will be in a lot of pain and will need the pulp removed and the canals cleaned out to give you relief.
- Tooth extraction: In the worst case, when a tooth is so deeply damaged inside that it cannot be fixed, tooth extraction is necessary.
How to Prevent a Cracked Tooth
Sometimes, a cracked tooth simply happens. In many cases though, cracked teeth can be avoided with proper care:
- Never miss a dental checkup: You may have an excellent oral hygiene routine, but nothing can substitute for the experienced eyes of your dentist and her x-rays. See your dentist every six months and she will diagnose a cracked tooth early, before it can ever cause problems.
- Get a customized mouthguard: If you are a chronic teeth grinder and clencher, a customized mouthguard will protect you from developing cracked teeth. A host of other side effects of this unconscious habit will also disappear, like headaches, pain, and a popping or cracking jaw.
- Watch what you eat: Some foods are menacing to a smile and crunching down hard on a piece of ice, a nut, or a hard candy can instantly crack tooth enamel. You can enjoy your favorite foods and treats, just be sure to think before you bite.
Cost Factors to Treat a Cracked Tooth
Every cracked tooth is different, and every patient will have a unique set of circumstances that affect their cost for repairs. These can include:
- Severity of the crack
- Which tooth is affected
- Repairs needed
- Materials used for repair
- Whether it is a dental emergency
There is always a way to work out payments for your dental care, whether through financing, payment plans, or otherwise. Getting help now avoids additional repairs later.