Cracking a tooth can happen in any number of ways. You might have taken a hit to the face while playing football in the backyard with your family. Perhaps you bit down on something hard.
Maybe you fell. No matter how it happens, it can be a scary time, especially if you don't know what to expect.
The first thing you should do when you crack a tooth is call your dentist and make an appointment for as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to evaluate the severity of the damage and check for signs of infection and decay. He will also be able to let you know if the tooth can be saved or not.
Cracking a tooth in half means that the pulp and the root have been exposed and possibly compromised. These parts are extremely susceptible to infection. A root canal removes the pulp and the root, allowing the outer part of the tooth to be saved.
A crack, especially one as extensive as breaking your tooth in half, significantly weakens your tooth. Chewing on anything could cause further breakage. It also allows for food particles, germs and bacteria to get in. A crown holds the tooth together, closing the break and keeping your tooth strong. It is also used after a root canal.
Your dentist will remove some of the tooth, allowing the crown to fit over it, and take an impression. A temporary crown will be placed until a permanent porcelain crown is made. After it is ready, your dentist will cement the permanent crown over your damaged tooth.
If there is significant decay or infection the tooth may not be able to be saved. In this case, it will need to be removed. You can replace it, however. You can have a bridge or a dental implant placed to maintain the integrity of your smile.
When you crack a tooth in half, don't panic. Call our office right away and schedule an appointment to discuss what should be done.