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Cracked Front Tooth: What You Can Do

While you might have a great oral care routine, accidents can still happen. Sometimes an accident can result in a cracked front tooth. While seeing a sudden crack in your front tooth can be alarming, a visit to your dentist is the best thing to do at the moment. Read on to find out what treatment options are available to you so that you can repair your cracked front tooth in no time at all.

What Causes a Tooth to Crack?

Cracks in your teeth can be both horizontal and vertical. While many things can cause a cracked tooth, here are some common causes:

  • Biting down on a hard object, like a piece of candy or ice
  • Stress-related habits like tooth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Trauma-related to an accident like tripping on an uneven sidewalk

How Do You Know if Your Front Tooth is Cracked?

It can sometimes be tricky to determine if your tooth is cracked. The crack may be invisible to your naked eye, so if you experience any pain while chewing, you should see your dentist. The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) highlights that sensitivity to very hot or cold temperatures is another sign that your tooth may be cracked. If you don't address the problem, the crack can spread, and a minor crack can become a major one. And, of course, if the crack is visible to you, setting up an appointment with your dentist should be an immediate next step.

What Treatment Options are Available to You?

Your dentist will recommend a treatment for your cracked tooth based on how minor or major the crack is. There are four types of treatment options available to you so that you can repair your front cracked tooth:

Bonding. This is typically the least pricey and easiest option. It can typically be done in one dental visit. Bonding involves using a composite resin to seal or fill the crack in your front tooth. It's made to resemble the color of your tooth. While bonding is cost-effective, the material used isn't as strong as others. It can be an effective option for front teeth since they don't take a lot of pressure while biting foods.

Crown. When a piece of your tooth's chewing surface breaks off, it's called a fractured cusp. In a case like this, that a crown can be placed around the cracked tooth to protect it. Crowns are made of porcelain and create a protective cover for the damaged tooth, allowing it to restore or improve its shape. While crowns are more expensive than bonding, they are more durable with adequate home care. It may also take more than one dental visit to get your crown fitted.

Root Canal. If the crack in your front tooth has extended to the pulp of your tooth (located beneath the enamel and dentin layers), it needs to be treated with a root canal procedure to protect the crack from getting worse. A crown is then placed on top of it. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical here so that your dentist can save your tooth.

Implant. Once the crack reaches below the gumline of your front tooth, the only thing your dentist can do is extract your tooth. But this doesn't at all mean you'll be left with a hole in your mouth. An oral surgeon can install an implant in the space. This implant is typically covered with a crown so that it resembles your original tooth.

Regardless of how your dentist treats the cracked front tooth, taking care of it at home is critical. Brush twice a day and floss daily to prevent decay. You'll also need to regularly check in with your dentist to ensure the bonding, crown, or implant stays in good condition.

Finding out that there's a crack in one of your front teeth can be overwhelming, but don't worry, it's entirely treatable! The important thing to remember is to show it to your dentist as soon as possible, and you'll be back to smiling again in no time.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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