If you’ve spotted a crack in your tooth then the first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your dentist. A crack is a fine line which you can see extending from your gumline to the pointed part of your tooth where you bite. Although the tooth is still in one part, it’s quite likely that the tissue inside the tooth is damaged, and if you don’t get it fixed, then the tooth will split into two.
Often adults have fine cracks in their teeth often called ‘craze lines’ which occur randomly inside the enamel and shouldn’t cause pain or need treatment.
If you can’t see a crack, then other signs that you may need to pay your dentist a visit are:
- Discomfort from hot and cold food and drinks
- The area near the tooth is swollen
- Sometimes it’s painful when you chew
- Discomfort is caused by sweet foods or drinks
A cracked tooth can be treated with either a dental crown or a veneer.
A dental crown is usually chosen if a tooth has insufficient structure to support a veneer. Or in the event that your nerve is damaged, in which case you might first need to have root canal therapy. The crown covers the whole of the visible part of the tooth to protect it. Crowns can last several years if they’re cared for properly.
If your tooth still has plenty of structure remaining then a veneer is a great solution to conceal the cracked tooth. A veneer is a really thin layer of porcelain that is applied to the front surface of the tooth, a little like a false nail, to cover any defects or blemishes below. In order to fix a veneer your dentist will need to remove a thin shaving of enamel to make room for the veneer. An impression will then be taken of the prepared tooth so that a custom veneer can be made. This will be colour matched to your other teeth to give a seamless natural finish. Again, like a dental crown, with care your veneer should last for several years.