Can an Endodontist Fix Cracked Teeth?
Largo Endodontics always utilizes the latest in dental technology, so we can offer the best diagnosis, treatment, and care for our patients’ teeth. Our Largo endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman, is a board-certified endodontist who works to preserve the underlying structure of your teeth and save as much of your dental structure as possible.
You may experience a cracked tooth for many reasons, such as biting down on hard food, grinding your teeth, or damage due to a traumatic injury. Sometimes teeth can crack just due to natural aging, or as the result of large fillings that left only a thin veneer of dental enamel. Signs of a cracked tooth often include pain or sensitivity to extreme temperatures, but some patients don’t even realize they have a crack in a tooth until their dentist uncovers it during a regular check-up. If left untreated, the crack could allow bacteria to enter, leading to infection, pain, sensitivity, abscess, and possible loss of a tooth.
When you visit our dental office with a cracked tooth, we will first perform a thorough examination to determine the extent of the damage and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Many patients are concerned about whether endodontic treatment can fix their cracked teeth, and that is certainly what we strive to achieve. The first consideration in determining whether our endodontist can repair your cracked tooth is to find out what type of crack it is. Cracks usually fall into a few possible categories that are generally treatable and non-treatable.
Cracked Teeth That Are Generally Treatable
- Fractured Cusp: This is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum, or around a dental filling. When it becomes cracked or chipped, it can usually be repaired with a filling or dental crown. The doctor will assess whether the fracture has extended below the gum line and damaged the pulp.
- Incomplete Crown Fracture: This is a crack that extends from the chewing surface of your tooth and moves downward toward the root. If the fracture stays above the gum line, the endodontist will be able to fix it.
Endodontic Treatment for Treatable Cracked Teeth
An endodontist is a doctor who treats conditions that affect the tooth pulp and the tissue surrounding the roots of your teeth. If a crack extends into the pulp of your tooth, our doctor may recommend root canal therapy to prevent the crack from spreading and causing further damage. A dental crown may be required to preserve the surface portion of your tooth. In some cases, your tooth may require endodontic retreatment if new damage or decay exposes the original root canal treatment.
Cracked Teeth That Are Generally Non-Treatable
Unfortunately, there are some situations where we might have to recommend an alternative form of treatment, such as an extraction.
- Complete Crown Fracture: This is a more complex fracture that extends down the root of your tooth. In most cases, the tooth will need to be extracted. That is why we recommend early diagnosis and treatment for cracked teeth.
- Split Tooth: If a cracked tooth is left untreated, it can actually cause your tooth to split into distinct segments. In some cases, we may be able to preserve a portion of the tooth, but it is unlikely that the entire tooth can be preserved.
- Root Fracture: In some cases, the actual root of your tooth may fracture, either vertically or horizontally. This may go unnoticed without regular dental care and could result in endodontic surgery to attempt removal of the fractured root.
Tips to Prevent Cracked Teeth
Proper use of mouthguards, good oral hygiene, and regular visits to your dental professional are the best protection against cracked teeth. Be careful of grinding your teeth, biting down on hard objects, and never use your teeth to open items.
Largo Endodontics (formerly World Class Endo) is a specialized dental practice providing professional endodontic treatment. Dr. Ernest A Rillman, DMD is an endodontist who has served Largo, Florida, and the surrounding communities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Indian Rocks, Bell Air Bluffs, Seminole, Tampa, Palm Harbor, and Dunedin since 2004. Call us at 727-399-2969 to set an appointment and learn more about fixing cracked teeth.