What Is A Cracked Tooth?
A tooth can become cracked if there’s a split or damage to its tough exterior layers, both the enamel and the dentin. This damage can arise from various situations, like biting into something very hard, unexpected accidents, regularly grinding one’s teeth, or sudden temperature shifts within the mouth.
The intensity of the damage can differ. It might be a tiny, almost invisible crack that doesn’t affect how the tooth functions or it can be a deep crack that reaches the inner parts of the tooth, sometimes even extending beneath the gums.
If you feel pain while eating, sensitivity to hot or cold, or occasional discomfort, you might have a cracked tooth. It’s wise to consult a dentist soon if you think this might be the case.
What Is A Cracked Tooth Filling?
A cracked tooth filling is a dental procedure used to repair a tooth that has suffered a crack or fracture. This damage can result from a variety of reasons, including trauma, grinding or clenching of teeth, biting on hard food or objects, or as a result of large, old fillings that weaken the remaining tooth structure.
Depending on the severity and location of the crack, different filling materials and techniques may be used to restore the tooth’s functionality and appearance.
Before the procedure begins, the dentist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your dental health. This will involve a visual examination, the use of dental instruments, an evaluation of your symptoms, and possibly X-rays or other imaging techniques. This is to ensure that the tooth is still viable for a filling and to determine the extent of the damage.
Once the dentist has assessed the situation, the actual process of filling the cracked tooth can begin. This usually involves several steps:
First, the dentist will administer local anaesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth to ensure that the procedure is pain-free.
Removal of Damaged Tooth Structure:
The dentist will then use a drill or other dental tools to carefully remove the damaged parts of the tooth and any decay that might be present. This is crucial to prevent further damage and infection.
The dentist will then prepare the filling material. There are various types of dental fillings – amalgam, composite resin, gold, and ceramic are common. The choice of material depends on the extent of damage, the location of the tooth, the patient’s preference, and the dentist’s recommendation.
Placement of Filling:
The dentist will then place the filling material into the prepared tooth and shape it to mimic the natural anatomy of the tooth. This process may involve several layers of filling material, each hardened with a special light before the next layer is added.
Once the filling has been shaped, it will be polished to smooth out any rough edges and make it feel more natural in your mouth.
The dentist will then ask you to bite down to check the occlusion (how the teeth meet together). If necessary, the filling will be further adjusted to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with your bite.
One key point to note is that the filling is designed to repair and strengthen the cracked tooth. However, if the crack is too severe, extending deep into the tooth, a filling may not be the best solution. The dentist might recommend other treatments, such as a root canal treatment, to properly restore the tooth’s function and health.
After the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity in the tooth and nearby areas, but this should subside within a few days. Should the discomfort continue or if you feel intense pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist promptly.
Taking care of your tooth after the treatment is essential for the filling’s durability and your tooth’s well-being. Habits like brushing and flossing daily, steering clear of foods that are too hard or sticky (especially if they caused the crack in the first place), and keeping up with dentist appointments all play a pivotal role in your dental health.
Getting a filling for a cracked tooth is a reliable way to mend the damage. It not only restores the tooth’s function but also prevents further complications like decay or infections. However, the effectiveness and lifespan of this solution depend on factors like the depth of the crack, the type of material used, the expertise of the dentist, and how well the patient maintains oral hygiene.
By visiting the dentist regularly, potential problems can be spotted and tackled early on, ensuring both your natural teeth and the fillings stay in tip-top shape.
What If Cracked Tooth Filling Isn’t Done?
If a cracked tooth is not untreated in time, it can lead to various complications, potentially increasing the need for extensive, more invasive, and costly dental work.
Firstly, a cracked tooth may lead to tooth decay. The crack creates a pathway for bacteria to penetrate the enamel and dentin, reaching the soft inner tissue (pulp) of the tooth. This can cause a painful infection, which may require root canal treatment or even extraction if left untreated.
Secondly, the crack can progressively worsen due to continued pressure from chewing and biting, causing the tooth to fracture or split. In some cases, the tooth may fracture below the gum line, making it unrepairable and necessitating extraction.
Lastly, a cracked tooth can lead to an abscess or dental cyst if the infection spreads into the bone. This can cause severe pain, swelling, and discomfort. In serious cases, this infection can spread further, affecting your overall health.
Early detection and treatment of a cracked tooth can prevent these complications. If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, it’s essential to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Timely treatment can preserve the tooth, maintain its functionality, and minimise the risk of more serious dental problems.
Experience sudden toothache or suspect a cracked tooth?
Don’t wait! Visit us immediately. Our friendly team of dental professionals is ready to handle your dental emergencies, offering quick and effective solutions like dental filling etc. Preserve your smile and ensure your oral health. Call us now to secure your emergency appointment.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/repairing-a-chipped-or-broken-tooth#:~:text=Recommended-,Dental%20file%20or%20 Bonding,a%20 tooth%2Dcolored%20composite%20 resin.