What are the types of dental cracks and fractures?
People often struggle to differentiate between different types and severities of dental cracks, chips, and fractures. Admittedly, these terms seem pretty similar, but they constitute different levels of seriousness. A simple craze line doesn’t constitute a dental emergency, but a vertical root fracture or fractured cusp may constitute a dental emergency. As such, to determine whether your cracked tooth is an emergency, you must familiarize yourself with the different types of cracked teeth.
The following are the different types of dental cracks, chips, and fractures:
- Dental Crack: A dental crack refers to a crack on the crown extending down towards the root. Unless the crack has reached the pulp tissues underneath, the dentist can save the tooth with a filling or crown. However, if the crack extends into the pulp chamber, the dentist may have to perform a root canal. This will involve removing the internal pulp tissues and nerves and placing a dental crown on the weakened tooth.
- Dental Chip: A dental chip is a small fracture that doesn’t go much deeper than the enamel. In this case, the dentist can perform a filling or composite resin bonding to seal the crack and prevent bacterial infection. Leaving the dental chip untreated can increase the risk of dental decay and bacterial infections.
- Craze Lines: These are extremely thin lines or cracks present on the outer enamel of the teeth. Most adults have craze lines to varying degrees, and they don’t require treatment.
- Dental Fracture: A dental fracture is a serious dental crack or injury wherein a part of the chewing surface is damaged or broken. If the pulp chamber is exposed, the dentist will have to perform a root canal to remove the pulp tissues and protect the external crown.
- Split Tooth: Sometimes, a tooth may be split down to the root, making it impossible to save. This can happen due to injuries, trauma, or untreated dental cavities and decay. When the tooth is split down to the root, the dentist must remove the affected tooth completely. However, in some cases, the tooth may be saved with a root canal and crown.
- Root Fracture: In some cases, a dental fracture may start at the root and extend upward toward the crown. These types of fractures often go unnoticed because they’re internal, and most people only realize once the gum tissues are infected. In this case, the affected tooth must be removed.
- Knocked-Out Tooth: If your tooth is knocked clean off the socket with the root intact, the dentist can possibly reattach the tooth. However, you have to preserve the tooth in an airtight container with saliva, saltwater, or milk before getting to the dentist. The possibility of reattaching a knocked-out tooth decreases after an hour, so you must act quickly.
Are these craze lines or cracks in my tooth enamel serious?
Craze lines and minor cracks on the tooth enamel aren’t serious. Craze lines are extremely common in adults and don’t require any treatment at all. Minor cracks on the enamel aren’t emergencies, but they should be sealed with fillings or composite resin materials. Leaving a dental crack open makes the tooth vulnerable to bacterial infections.
What causes craze lines on teeth?
Craze lines on teeth are usually caused by excessive bite force on the teeth, usually after years of constant chewing. Most adults develop craze lines due to the natural wear and tear of teeth, though some can also develop them due to injuries, trauma, and accidents. Patients with bruxism or teeth clenching issues are more likely to have craze lines. You’re also more likely to have craze lines if you bite hard objects regularly, such as tough meat, bottle caps, ice, etc.
What are my options in repairing badly chipped front teeth?
If you have a badly chipped front tooth, the dentist may recommend two possible treatments — fillings and composite bonding. A dental filling is a procedure wherein tooth-colored filling materials seal the crack to prevent bacterial decay. Composite bonding is a procedure wherein tooth-colored composite resin material is attached to the front face of the teeth to hide the cracks. Your dentist will recommend the ideal treatment based on your specific needs.
Do I need an emergency dentist tooth extraction?
An emergency dentist tooth extraction is only necessary if your tooth is too badly damaged, i.e., if the dental fracture is too large or extends under the gum line. If the dental fracture reaches the roots or pulp tissues, the dentist may have to remove the affected tooth. Similarly, tooth extraction may be necessary if the fracture is too large for fillings, composite resin, or even crowns. However, whatever the situation might be, the dentist’s primary goal will be saving your existing tooth. They’ll only recommend tooth extraction if all other options fail.
What is an emergency dentist tooth extraction cost?
The cost of emergency dentist tooth extraction will depend on numerous factors, including the type of extraction. Simple extractions are usually cheaper than surgical extractions — however, emergency tooth extractions are usually surgical. The cost will also depend on the anesthesia usage and the post-extraction restoration options. Please discuss the cost of your emergency dentist tooth extraction with your dentist.
Where can I find an emergency dentist on Saturday?
URBN Dental is one of the most reliable dental clinics for emergency dentistry in Houston, TX. You can find our emergency dentist on Saturday — we also accept last-minute walk-in appointments. You can find our dental clinics in Uptown and Midtown Houston, making them accessible for people across Houston, TX.