A cracked tooth is a common occurrence. Teeth may crack due to a variety of causes from chronic teeth grinding to biting down on something hard. A cracked tooth is usually treated with a crown.
In some cases a tooth will develop a crack underneath a crown. When this occurs, prompt treatment is needed for the best chance of saving the tooth. Here’s what you need to know if your tooth is cracked under a dental crown.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover that is placed over a damaged tooth. A tooth with excessive decay, or damage such as a crack, is most often restored with a crown. When damage to a tooth is severe, a composite filling may not be sufficient to protect the tooth from further damage. A crown provides effective protection and a natural appearance, allowing the root of the tooth to stay in place.
When a Tooth Cracks Under a Crown
Even with a crown restoration, a tooth can still crack. It may be visible or invisible.
- Visible crack. If you have a tooth that is visibly cracked under a crown, it most likely extends under the gums. This means that the tooth most likely can’t be saved and will need to be extracted and replaced.
- Invisible crack. If you can’t see the crack, but you suspect it is there, the tooth may be able to be saved. The existing crown will need to be removed, the tooth will need to be treated, and a new crown will need to be placed over the tooth.
How Will I Know if My Tooth is Cracked Under My Crown?
An invisible crack is harder to detect when it is underneath a crown. But there are some signs and symptoms that may give you an indication:
- New sensitivity. If the tooth is suddenly sensitive to cold, heat, or sugar, you may have an invisible crack under your crown.
- Swelling of the gums around the tooth. Swelling around the tooth is a sign of inflammation and may indicate that the tooth is infected due to a crack.
- Pain in the tooth. The tooth may ache or throb. Tooth pain from a crack may range from mild to severe.
Will I Need a Root Canal?
A cracked tooth often needs a root canal because there is a high chance of bacterial contamination of the dental pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth. This can result in a painful infection that could prevent the tooth from being saved.
A root canal involves the removal of the dental pulp from the tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected, then filled with composite material. A crown will be placed over the tooth to seal it off from any further exposure to bacteria.
Will I Need a New Crown?
There is a good chance that you will need a new crown after the crack in your tooth is repaired, if it can be saved. The old crown may not fit properly after the tooth is treated. And there is a good chance that the crown didn’t fit well and wasn’t in good condition anyway if the tooth developed a crack underneath it.
Doctors Lake Family Dental Offers CEREC Same Day Crowns
When you come to Doctors Lake Family Dental, you can get a permanent crown the same day. Through the use of CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic) technology, we can create and place your crown in a single appointment. If you come to us with a cracked tooth, we can most likely treat the tooth and fit you with a crown in a single appointment.