Finding a family dentist makes it easier for you to take care of all of your family's dental needs. Anyone with kids knows how chaotic things can get daily as you try to shuffle the family to playdates, school obligations and sporting events. Add scheduled and unscheduled trips to the mix and you can forget…
Cosmetic Dentistry Options for a Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth can be ugly and painful, but after treatment, cosmetic dentistry can help restore the tooth’s appearance. A cosmetic repair or replacement is often indistinguishable from natural teeth, can restore normal chewing and help retain bone structure.
Cracked tooth diagnosis and treatment
Before a tooth can be repaired, it must be treated or it may cause further damage to the inner pulp, roots and jawbone. Treatments and available options for cosmetic dentistry restoration vary depending on the nature and severity of the crack. There are five basic types of tooth cracks that range from marring the appearance to damaging the structure and nerves, possibly leading to infection.
1. Craze lines
Crazes are tiny, vertical scratches on the surface enamel of the tooth. Although treatment is rarely necessary, craze lines can appear unseemly.
2. Surface cracks
Oblique surface cracks appear in the crown (or chewing surface) of a tooth. These cracks are rarely painful but often result in breakage.
3. Furcation cracks
Vertical furcation is a painful crack that separates the roots of the tooth. The damage could potentially injure the nerve and usually requires a root canal.
4. Oblique root cracks
An oblique root crack extends vertically into the root of the tooth. Sometimes, only a root canal is necessary; however, the damage usually requires an extraction.
5. Vertical root fractures
Root fractures are cracks at the tip of the root near the nerve and are often very painful. The cracks typically spread and are usually treated by extraction.
Cosmetic solutions to restore appearance
After the initial treatment, cosmetic dentistry can usually restore a smile, often in one or two appointments. Cosmetic repair options range from simple to comprehensive depending on the tooth structure that remains after the procedure.
When there is minimal cosmetic damage to a tooth (i.e., a craze line), a dental composite filling or a veneer can cover the crack. Dental composite mimics tooth enamel in strength and appearance and color.
A veneer is custom-made in a professional laboratory and is a thin layer of porcelain that bonds to the tooth surface to cover imperfections. Composites and veneers are not permanent but will generally last for many years.
If the crack has reduced the tooth size and shape, a crown may be affixed to restore the tooth to its original size and function. Porcelain crowns are most common for aesthetic reasons, and replacement is usually infrequent.
When a root crack leads to extraction, dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular method of restoration. Quality implants are often virtually identical to surrounding teeth and much more durable than other restorations, sometimes lasting for 25 years or more.
If you are suffering a cracked tooth, dentists recommend seeking treatment as soon as possible to prevent more damage. Most will attempt to save as much of the original tooth as they can. Cosmetic dentistry can then offer a variety of solutions to return your smile to its natural appearance.
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