Dental crowns are primarily used to protect weak teeth, cover a discolored or misshapen tooth, and to restore broken or fractured teeth. However, crowns also support a tooth with a large filling, hold a dental bridge in place, and cover a dental implant.
Based on the location of the tooth, the extent of damage, and the patient’s budget, dentists use several types of dental crowns to repair a cracked or broken tooth.
Porcelain crowns are the most popular due to their durability and natural look. Gold alloy is often chosen for back teeth, as their durability helps them endure more wear and tear. Then you have base metal crowns, which are made of non-precious metals such as nickel or chromium and are known for their strength. And lastly, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are made of a combination of porcelain and metal.
Regardless of the types of crown used, a common question is what to do if your tooth is cracked under the crown.
Signs of a Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth presents obvious problems that should never be ignored. Here are the top five signs experienced with cracked teeth:
- Pain: A cracked tooth can cause pain when biting down or applying pressure to the tooth.
- Sensitivity: A cracked tooth can be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
- Swelling: If the crack extends into the gum, it may cause swelling in the area.
- Visible cracks: Sometimes, cracks in teeth are visible to the naked eye.
- Fractured pieces: In some cases, a crack in a tooth can cause a piece of the tooth to break off.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must see a dentist as soon as possible. They can assess the damage and determine the best course of action to repair the tooth.
Problems caused by a cracked tooth also result in similar signs and symptoms. If you have cracked teeth, you may experience pain when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth. Cracks in teeth also expose the inner layers of the tooth, leading to sensitivity to both hot and cold temperatures.
Additionally, a cracked tooth allows bacteria to enter the tooth and cause infection. It also causes damage to the inner structures of the tooth, such as the pulp (which contains the nerve and blood supply). If left untreated, this can lead to the death of the tooth. Plus, ifa crack is not treated, it will often continue to grow and cause further damage to the tooth.
Treatment for a Cracked Tooth
The treatment for a cracked tooth will depend on the severity of the crack and the extent of the damage. Some common treatment options include:
- Filling: If the crack is small and only affects the outer layers of the tooth, a filling may be used to repair the damage.
- Crown: A crown (also called a cap) is a covering that fits over the top of a damaged tooth. It can be used to protect the tooth and restore its function.
- Root canal: If the crack extends into the pulp (which contains the nerve and blood supply of the tooth), a root canal may be necessary to remove the damaged tissue and save the tooth.
- Extraction: In some cases, a crack may be too severe to repair, and the tooth may need to be extracted.
If you have a cracked tooth under a crown, you must see a dentist as soon as possible. The crack may be causing damage to the tooth and may need to be repaired. The dentist will likely remove the crown to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. This may involve repairing the crack, placing a new crown, or performing a root canal. It’s important to get the tooth treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage and to alleviate any pain you may be experiencing.
Fix a Cracked Tooth at Arrowhead Dental Associates
From replacing teeth and supporting dental bridges to protecting a tooth after a root canal, dental crowns have several purposes in dentistry. However, the most common reason patients require dental crowns is to restore a decayed or damaged tooth.At Arrowhead Dental Associates, we provide dental crown services in Charlestown, RI. Contact us today at 401-364-6300 to learn more and schedule your appointment.