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Can You Save a Cracked Tooth?

Closeup of a woman's anxious face wondering if her cracked tooth can be fixed at the dentist

Accidents happen, so if you realize you’ve cracked a tooth, don’t panic. At Arizona Biltmore Dentistry, our expert team frequently saves teeth damaged by trauma. Keep reading to discover the steps we recommend you take if you notice a cracked tooth, and learn how we treat this common issue.

What to Do If You Crack a Tooth

There are a variety of causes of cracked teeth, including not wearing a mouthguard during sports, a wayward bite on a hard food (especially ice or hard candy), grinding teeth at night, and using your teeth to open packaging. No matter how you cracked your tooth, give our office a call right away. We are usually able to accommodate same-day appointments for dental emergencies. Until you are able to come see us, we advise patients to gently rinse their mouths with a cup of warm water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This will clean your tooth to help prevent infection. Moreover, avoid chewing on that side.

How We Treat a Cracked Tooth

We have several treatment options for saving a cracked tooth, depending on the severity of the damage. Cracked teeth run the gamut from small, hairline cracks that might be only be cosmetic issues to severe cracks that run through the entire tooth and extend to the roots. Our team will carefully examine the crack and determine the best course of action:

  1. For smaller, less severe cracks, we may use dental bonding to fill in the crack and fortify your tooth against further damage.
  2. If your cracked tooth is painful when you bite down, the mastication pressure is separating the pieces of your tooth and irritating the tissue and nerve endings inside your tooth. In this case, we may top your damaged tooth with a realistic-looking dental crown to restore not only the look of your tooth but also to help prevent any tooth sensitivity when chewing.
  3. For more severe situations, particularly when bacteria has gained access to the inner portion of your tooth via the crack, we will utilize root canal therapy. With advances in modern dentistry, this procedure has become virtually painless. During root canal therapy, we will remove any damaged or infected tissue, then top your tooth with a filling or crown to restore function and protect from additional damage. Not only will root canal therapy protect your tooth from further damage, but you will find that it eases any toothache you may be experiencing.

How to Prevent a Cracked Tooth

To help prevent another tooth fracture, we can fit you with a nightguard if you grind your teeth, and an athletic mouthguard for when you play sports. Additionally, we recommend you do not chew ice or hard candy nor open packaging with your teeth. Keep your teeth healthy and strong with daily brushing and flossing, and biannual dental cleanings!

We Offer Same-Day Emergency Dental Care

If you have a cracked tooth, our Phoenix dental office will work with you to ensure you receive quality care as quickly as possible. To ask our team any questions or to schedule an emergency appointment, call our office today at (602)-957-8200. We are open Monday through Thursday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Friday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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