Broken bones, broken skin, and broken hearts eventually heal on their own, at least in most cases. But broken or cracked teeth never heal on their own. They just get worse. So, if you break, chip, or crack a tooth, it’s always best to go to Dr. Stone straightaway and seek cracked tooth repair.
If you come in early, a wide range of permanent and cost-effective solutions are usually available. On the other hand, if you put off cracked tooth repair, these options dwindle rapidly.
How a Cracked Tooth Affects Your Mouth
Many people need cracked tooth repair and do not know it. Typically, these cracks are tiny and invisible. If that’s the case, some people feel sharp direct pain (when biting down on the cracked tooth) or “rebound” pain (the discomfort surfaces when the person releases the bite). Other people feel generalized pain in that part of their mouths, but they cannot trace the pain to a certain tooth.
If you feel this kind of discomfort, it could be a cracked tooth that needs repair. It could also be a cavity and a lot of other things. So, Dr. Stone uses advanced diagnostic equipment, such as:
- Harmless dyes and stains,
- Transillumination (a bright light combined with magnification), and
- Fractfinder, Tooth Slooth, or another commercial bite test.
Insurance usually covers the cost of the visit and any diagnostic tests. Even if you pay a little out of pocket, the peace of mind you obtain is well worth it.
Cracked teeth can get infected. The tiniest hairline crack in a magnet for bacteria. A tooth infection quickly develops into an abscess. Additionally, as mentioned, cracks get worse. If you grind your teeth or eat lots of nuts or other hard foods, cracks get worse even faster. Once the crack reaches the inside of the tooth, extraction and replacement may be the only option.
Cracked Tooth Repair Options
Until recently, the extraction-and-replacement method was basically the only available cracked tooth repair method. Today, there are a number of less invasive, and much less expensive, options.
Dr. Stone often treats hairline cracks with dental bond. This paste looks like your own teeth, because Dr. Stone adjusts the paste’s color. Dental bond also acts like your own teeth. It’s almost like mouth-friendly concrete. Additionally, dental bond is probably one of the most cost-effective treatments in a prosthodontist’s arsenal. However, the paste does stain, especially if you drink lots of tea, coffee, or soda. So, Dr. Stone may need to replace the dental bond every few years.
If the crack is bigger, a dental cap usually does the trick. Caps keep the two parts of a broken tooth together, making the tooth useable again. Caps also prevent the crack from getting worse and causing infection. Dental bond is not always able to do that.