Do you experience a sharp pain whenever you bite a carrot or biscuit? The pain disappears immediately, and you end up ignoring it. But you can only chew comfortably on one side of the mouth or only chew selected foods. It is likely that you have a cracked tooth, and you need to address it.
The intermittent pain happens because the cracks tend to open when you bite something and close quickly when the pressure is released. You may need to visit an endodontist in Colorado or the nearest dental office to have the problem fixed as soon as possible. But if you want more information before you book an appointment, here’s a quick rundown of having a cracked tooth:
Causes of Cracked Tooth
The tooth comprises of both hard and soft tissues. Specifically, the tooth crown consists of the dentin (inner covering) and enamel (outer covering). While the tooth is tough enough to withstand a range of forces, some cases lead to cracks, including:
• Dental caries
• Brittleness emanating from a root canal
• Wrong bite
• Physical blow
• Repetitive clenching and grinding
How the Doctor Identifies the Crack
The key to saving a cracked tooth is an early diagnosis. A massive crack may develop from a minute fissure on the enamel, but you may not even detect it until it reaches the pulp. It is common for people not to undergo routine dental checks until symptoms occur. But telltale signs of a crack include discomfort, sensitivity to different temperatures, and intermittent pain. In some instances, the crack develops rapidly, for instance, in the case of a blow.
For endodontists, locating a crack is sometimes difficult because it can be embedded in restorations such as fillings. Cone-beam computed tomography has helped doctors a lot in such instances. Some other methods of diagnosis are:
• Dental explorer method
• Visual examination
• Dental dye
• Tooth x-ray
Upon a positive diagnosis, the doctor may suggest any of the following treatments:
This is often the most effective treatment for a tooth cracked due to dental decay. The dentist removes any infected tissue, prepares the tooth, and fills it to restores the tooth to its original appearance.
Composite resin is the material used for dental fillings, and it applies for bonding as well. Dental bonding is ideal for cracks on the frontal or facial surface of the tooth, as it is a restorative procedure.
If you are looking for a cosmetic treatment, dental veneers are an excellent option. While it still covers the facial part of the tooth, the involvement of prosthetic material means that tooth reduction is necessary. Your preference will determine whether the endodontist uses porcelain or ceramic fabricating material.
When the tooth is severely cracked, and the danger of deeper cracking is imminent, the dentist may attach a new crown on the affected tooth. This type of restoration may also require a reduction of the tooth.
A cracked tooth can be salvaged, but mostly through preventive care and timely diagnosis. In view of this fact, the good news is that patients too can play a major role in averting this painful experience.