There are several things which can cause teeth to crack or chip. These include large fillings that weaken the tooth, biting or chewing on something hard such as a fruit stone, bone or boiled sweet, root fractures caused by gum disease, tooth grinding or even a sudden change of the temperature within your mouth.
The symptoms for a cracked tooth can vary and they are sometimes difficult to identify. If it hurts when you chew or bite this could indicate a cracked tooth. Extreme hot or cold temperatures and dramatic temperature changes in the mouth may cause discomfort. You may also be sensitive when eating sweet things but there is no sign of tooth decay.
It is important that cracked and chipped teeth are treated as they can lead to the death of the nerve or an abscess might develop. This could lead to root canal treatment and in extreme cases where a tooth splits, an extraction.
Fortunately there are various solutions which can be provided by your dentist:
The type of treatment depends on the amount of damage to the tooth. Ask your dental team what is the best treatment for you:
This is where a special synthetic resin is used to fill the crack. It can easily repair a small chip off the biting edge of the tooth and can be used by your dentist to reshape your tooth.
If the tooth has only a minor chip the rough edges can be rounded and polished to blend away the crack. Sometimes a small amount of composite filling is used to help restore the tooth’s shape.
A dental veneer is a thin layer of porcelain material which is individually created to fit over the front surface of the tooth.
When a tooth is not suitable for a veneer a dental crown can be created to fit over what is left of the tooth. This supports the tooth and looks like a natural tooth. If the nerve of the tooth has been damaged or infected you may have to have root canal treatment.
Benefits of repairing chipped or cracked teeth
- Avoid having a gap if the tooth was extracted
- It can be cost effective to opt for a repair instead of a replacement
- Cosmetic repairs can be carried out so the took looks natural
- Less intrusive than dental implants
The crack didn’t show on my x-ray?
This is not unusual because the x-ray beam must be parallel to the crack before it can penetrate it and show up when developed. Your dentist may use magnifying glasses (loops) or a bright light to help find the crack. A dye can also be painted onto the tooth to help identify the line of the crack.
Will a cracked or chipped tooth heal by itself?
The straight answer is no. Unlike broken bones which can heal themselves, teeth do not. A repaired tooth can last for many years if it is looked after.
Get in touch
To discuss how Far Headingley Dental Care can help you repair cracked or chipped teeth, please complete the enquiry form on this page or call our practice on 0113 275 1323 during normal office hours.