How Do I Know If I Need a Cracked Tooth Extraction?
There are a number of reasons why one might wonder if it is necessary to have cracked teeth extraction. If you are noticing regular tooth pain, cracked teeth could be the explanation. The very fact that the question is being posed is enough to have a dentist take a look, to be sure. For general information purposes, here are some facts covering the various types of cracks that teeth sustain.
Cracked, Fractured or Just Crazed?
The treatment and outcome for a cracked tooth depends on the type, location and how far the crack extends. A crack may start at the top of the tooth and go all the way to the root before it actually splits. Some variations of cracks and their severity are:
Craze lines are tiny cracks only effecting the outer tooth enamel. They are shallow and do not cause any pain. Commonly occurring in adult teeth, they are of little concern beyond how they appear.
Commonly occurring around a filling, a fractured cusp occurs when a part of a tooth’s top chewing surface breaks off. This is one of the rocky surfaces of a molar that sustains the pressure of biting. Fillings can become loose beyond their lifespan or in the event of impact. The force of biting on even a slightly misaligned filling is enough to cause a tooth to crack.
A fractured cusp is not usually associated with pulp damage and there is little pain involved. Seeing your dentist about it means either getting a new filling or placing a crown over the damaged tooth for protection.
Cracked or Split Tooth
A crack may be imperceptible until breathing on it or drinking cold liquids produces pain. It may start at the top of the tooth or at the root, which is much harder to detect until it progresses further. Cracks can spread simply due to the force of chewing. This is why early diagnosis is important to make the effort to save the tooth. Cracks can extend into the pulp, which can be treated with root canal and placing a crown to prevent any further spreading.
It is important to seek an early diagnosis to save the tooth. If the crack continues below the gum line or causes the tooth to split, it will need to be extracted. A split tooth is the result of the long term progression of a crack and cannot be saved intact as it is now segmented. However, endodontic treatment may save some portion of the cracked tooth depending on the position and extent of damage.
Vertical Root Fracture
Most often undetectable until the surrounding bone and gum show signs of infection, a vertical root fracture is one that begins at the root and continues to the chewing surface. Treatment may mean extraction or possibly endodontic surgery if a portion is salvageable.
Treatment is your best opportunity to relieve pain that occurs when biting forces a cracked tooth to move around causing damage to the pulp tissue. Never apply over-the-counter pain relievers such as Anbesol or place an aspirin directly on the tooth. See your dentist as soon as you can when you have concerns about a crack for the best possible solution to saving the tooth.
Come in to see our team at Southern Dental Care today if you are concerned that you may need cracked teeth extraction procedure.