Dayton dentist discusses the importance of treating dental fractures quickly
Dental fractures can occur for a variety of reasons, the most common being accidents or sports-related injuries. Treatment for these fractures varies based upon location and severity. No matter the severity, it is important for Dayton area patients to seek dental care at Alex Cobb Dental as soon as possible after an injury. An exam can help rule out trauma or injury on surrounding teeth and can increase the chance of saving the affected tooth.
Most chipped or fractured teeth can be replaced by a tooth colored filling, or simply reattaching the broken piece of the tooth. If too much of the tooth is missing, a crown may be necessary.
There are five main types of tooth fractures:
- Craze Lines – Cracks that are shallow, cause no discomfort, and are only aesthetic
- Fractured Cusp – Cracks that affect the chewing surface of the tooth, which rarely affects the pulp and typically does not cause much pain
- Cracked tooth – Cracks that extend from the chewing surface toward the root can cause the dental pulp of a tooth to be exposed or damaged. In these instances, the patient is often in pain and needs immediate treatment. Symptoms of trauma to the dental pulp include:
- Pain when inhaling or exhaling through the mouth
- Pain or sensitivity to cold fluids
- Throbbing pain near the injured tooth
To ease the discomfort associated with these symptoms, patients can try biting down on moist, clean gauze. If the patient has infected dental pulp, they may require root canal treatment followed by placement of a dental crown.
- Split Teeth – These cracks are typically the progression of an untreated cracked tooth. Teeth that are split often require extraction.
- Vertical Root Fracture – Cracks that start in the root and extend up to the chewing surface. They typically are discovered only after the bone and gum are infected. Treatment may involve oral surgery or extraction.
Teeth are different from our bones in that a fractured tooth will never “heal.” Instead, treatment such as dental crowns helps prevent the fracture from progressing. It is still important to receive immediate care for a fractured tooth to help alleviate pain and reduce the likelihood of extraction.
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