We often see patients with tooth cracks, but while some are serious, other types may not need any treatment. There are five different types of tooth cracks which are:
- Craze lines
- Split tooth
- Vertical root fracture
- Cracked tooth
- Cusp fracture
Craze lines are microfractures only affecting the enamel. They can be a sign of bruxism (tooth grinding and clenching) or the result of another form of trauma. If treatment is needed, it’s probably only due to aesthetic reasons, but it may be important to prevent bruxism to protect the teeth in future. A split tooth is more serious and can extend from the tooth crown to below the gumline. Sometimes it is possible to salvage the tooth, but often it must be removed.
A vertical tooth root fracture is most often associated with previous root canal therapy. Unfortunately, this is another frequently hopeless case where the tooth will need removing. A cracked tooth may be salvageable depending on the location and depth of the crack.
Sometimes a tooth can be restored with a dental filling or crown, or other times it may need root canal therapy. A cusp fracture can cause tooth sensitivity, but depending on the extent of the fracture, there’s a good chance the tooth can be restored with a dental crown or another type of restoration.