Options to Save Cracked Teeth?

Bit a hard thing, my tooth #5 vertically cracked, all the way to the root, I believe. After a month the pain in eating is reduced, but the tongue side half is loose or can be slightly split, though the crack gap width is tiny and cannot be detected by eye and normal x-rays. Can the tooth be saved/repaired?

Doctor Answers 5

Cracked tooth, can it be saved

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It sounds from your description that the tooth is not restorable and needs to be extracted.  I would see a dentist ASAP and get an opinion, the longer you wait the greater the chance that you will have to have the tooth extracted


Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

What to do with a cracked tooth??

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Bicuspid teeth are notorious to crack, especially the lingual cusp (tongue side), when an leaky old silver filling is present. When old metal fillings leak and there is recurrent decay underneath (often hidden by the metal filling making it also difficult to detect on an xray) the old metal filling becomes analogous to a metal wedge "splitting a wood log." The fractured tooth, if the fractured portion is above bone, can often be restored with a crown. However, if the fractured portion extends below the gum, and below the bone along the root surface, the long term prognosis becomes much more guarded and sometimes an extraction and replacement with a dental implant is indicated. The best advice is to get the tooth evaluated as soon as possible (waiting a month is never a good idea) to prevent any further complication and remember my favorite old adage, "Be true to your teeth or they'll be false to you!"

Cracked tooth syndrome

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It is hard to dela with the pain, and its very uncomfortable. If the crak is down to the root like you said, you will get an infection and and a root canal treatment will not be the best option because the tooth will re-infect again. The bets lasting restoration is to extracted and have an implant placed, it will look great and you will be very happy. Other options like removable partial "flipper" or a bridge are available too, but they are not the most comfortable option and with a bridge you have to remove tooth structure from the adjacent teeth. If the tooth has a minor crack and no infection you can have a crown done to keep the crack together and hopefully does not go down to the rooth of the tooth. If your dentist can not determined how bad the crack is, a specialist in root canal tretaments uses equipments to check how far the cracks goes. Always consult with your dentist first before making any decisions.

Pamela Marzban, DDS
Fairfax Dentist

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Options for a Cracked Tooth

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First of all, the longer you wait, the worse the crack will get and more likely will result in your losing the tooth. It is not a matter of pain or not. If there is a piece of the tooth moving, that means the crack is there and must be dealt with whether or not it hurts. If the crack ends right at the gum-line, then the tooth might be able to be saved, probably with a crown, and possibly with Root Canal treatment as well. If the crack goes below the gum-line onto the root of the tooth, the tooth will probably have to be extracted, and then replaced either with an implant or a bridge. See your dentist immediately!

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

Cracked Tooth

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A cracked tooth syndrome can fall into one of 3 categories.  If the crack is slight enough and does not enter the nerve chamber and is not down below the bone level, a crown or onlay can treat it.  If the crack develops into into the nerve chamber, it may need a root canal along with the crown.  If the crack goes past the nerve chamber or goes down the root too much, then it is a hopeless tooth.  No matter what the situation, it is always best to seek the treatment of a dentist when the first sign of sensitivity or pain comes up.  And if this crack happens again, please find a dentist who can treat it so it does not have the opportunity to get worse on you and need additional service.

Dr Andrew Soulimiotis

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.