One of the least expected, but the most troublesome dental problem would be the fractured tooth. There are a lot of symptoms that can identify this case for you, not the least of which is visual, but it can often be the case that an entirely different underlying problem was the primary cause of your fractured teeth. It can be a very painful experience, but is easily treated using a variety of methods. Let’s find out how you can best fix your fractured teeth.
Types of Fractures
Traditionally, the fractured tooth can be identified in these four cases:
- Craze Lines: They are typically narrow lines that appear along the contours of the tooth. Basically harmless, these can become infected and sensitive to hot or cold foods over time.
- Fractured Cusp: This is when the fracture or the crack has formed at the top and exceeded beyond the gum line.
- Cracked Tooth: This is when there is an incomplete fracture starting from the top and extending beyond the gums.
- Split Tooth: This happens when the tooth splits from the crown and extends beyond the gums. The split is distinct and extends till the root.
- Vertical Root Fracture: In this case the fracture starts at the root and may or may not extend above the gums.
The cases where fractured teeth are involved, the treatments can vary. In case the fracture is a resultant of a different condition such as tooth decay or gum diseases, the dentist will treat that condition first before taking on the fractured cusp.
Let’s explore the various treatment methods for a fractured tooth.
Craze lines are often mistaken for large cracks. The dentist will first check if the pulp chamber is intact and decide on the best mode of treatment based on that. The most commonly applied treatment method is a complete overhaul of the outer structure using an artificial crown. If the damage hasn’t progressed too much, the dentist may also recommend enamel bonding using specially designed adhesives to help reinforce the tooth.
A cracked tooth is an entirely different kettle of fish. The dentist will need to check how deep the crack is before deciding on a method of treatment. If the crack is shallow but has put the pulp chamber at risk, a root canal therapy can help recover the tooth. A little enamel reinforcement takes care of the rest. For the more serious cases, the tooth is usually not restorable and will require an extraction and a replacement.
In case of a split tooth, you can’t expect to have it restored and you will need a complete overhaul. In case it’s just little to the side like a chip, the dentist can remove that portion and treat the tooth enamel to keep it stable.
In case of a vertical root fracture, restoration is no longer possible and will need to be extracted and replaced.
Affordable Dental Options
Since most of the treatments that can help heal a fractured tooth will be very expensive – other than extractions, of course – you should consult with your dental care professional on what treatment works best for you. If extraction is the solution, you can also use a dental bridge to replace the gap. Implants and partial dentures are other options but a bridge would be the least expensive treatment for you.
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