Some dental problems are easy to identify and apparent right away, sometimes even before visiting the dentist. A persistent toothache because of a cavity or a tooth chipped in an athletic mishap is easy to understand and the solutions are often straightforward. However, some problems are harder to diagnose and aren't always easy for patients to self-identify. Cracked teeth are one such problem.
Although the enamel of our teeth is the strongest substance in the body, it isn't completely immune to damage. Putting excessive force on enamel could cause cracks, some that run deep and others that are superficial, almost purely cosmetic. What do you need to know about this problem and how can your dentist treat this issue?
What Can Cause a Tooth To Crack?
There are many ways that you could damage a tooth causing it to crack, but not all those ways are the result of sudden trauma, such as from direct impact to the tooth. There are many other potential causes to consider as well. Some of these include:
- Large fillings could damage the tooth's overall integrity. With time, the presence of the filling itself causes cracks to develop. For this reason and as a general rule, when a filling makes up more than 50% of the tooth, then it requires a crown to protect it.
- Bruxism—or tooth grinding—may crack a tooth by repeatedly grinding it against other teeth during the night or day. Literature shows that younger adults in their 20s and 30s often grind during the night, while 50 and older adults tend to do it more during the day.
- Regularly eating hard foods, such as brittles or nuts, or chewing on ice as a habit.
Age can also be a factor, and as mentioned, trauma is always a common source of cracks.
Not All Cracks Are the Same
One important thing to keep in mind: some cracks aren't concerning. As we age, the enamel of our teeth may naturally develop "craze lines" due to the accumulated years of wear and tear. Should you notice these very fine lines on your teeth, don't worry—when they cause no pain or discomfort, craze lines are nothing to worry about. However, deeper and more serious cracks that you do feel are a cause for concern.
The Cures: How a Dentist Fixes Cracked Teeth
How will a dentist fix a tooth with a crack in it after identifying the problem? There are several possible options:
- Restoring the tooth with a crown, which involves reshaping the tooth and creating a matching piece of dental hardware that fits over it like a hat. The dentist then cements the crown onto the tooth to protect it, and restore its proper function and esthetics.
- Bonding the crack together using a bonding material, or a special dental adhesive.
- Root canals are needed for deeper cracks that penetrate the center of the tooth requiring further repair.
- In severe cases where repair is not possible, the dentist may recommend extracting the tooth altogether.
What Does It Cost To Fix a Cracked Tooth?
Every patient's situation is different, so there are seldom hard and fast price points for repairing a cracked tooth. The cost of the procedure will vary based on what you need. For example, simple bonding is relatively inexpensive compared to a more in-depth procedure such as a root canal and crown, and if the tooth does need a crown, different materials have different costs. Speaking to a dentist you trust about this issue will let you explore your options and find the best long-term solution.
Find Friendly Help for Your Dental Concerns Today
Are you worried that you might have a cracked tooth? Any source of dental pain or discomfort is a cause for concern, but a crack could be a cause for anxiety too. By bringing your concerns to an experienced and understanding dental health professional such as Dr. Nargiz I. Zadeh, you can begin considering your next steps soon. From determining the severity of the crack to proposing treatment methods, our office staff will put you at ease and lead the way towards a satisfactory outcome. Get in touch with us today for more information.
A Testimonial From Ivy, Dr. Nargiz I. Zadeh's Patient in Tarzana, CA
As I was looking for dental clinic near my area in Encino, I found Dr. Nargiz Zadeh in Yelp. I was in pain for several weeks when I called the clinic. I was given an appointment in a timely manner. As I arrived at the clinic, the receptionist was very nice and accommodating. Staff took my teeth x-ray she was very gentle. Dr. Zadeh came to the room and explained what need to be done. Dr. Zadeh explained to me in details and validated my concerns towards my pain. Dr. Zadeh gave me options on how I wanted to proceed with procedures. The staff and Dr. Zadeh has the lightest hand didn't feel a thing not even a slight pain. Profoundly professional and caring. I would highly recommend Dr. Nargiz Zadeh, DMD dental clinic. Thank you so much!