Causes and Solutions for Cracked Teeth

Many dentists across the country are reporting that cracked teeth are becoming more common. Because of increased stress levels, more individuals may be grinding their teeth, which contributes to cracks and other wear and tear. If you are noticing this or any other issues with your oral health, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a dentist. These problems typically become worse over time and seeing your dentist sooner can help prevent the need for more extensive work.

Different Types of Cracked Teeth

Cracks can range from very small lines on the surface of your teeth to deep fractures that impact the entire tooth structure. The causes and solutions vary depending on the severity of the chips or cracks.

Craze Lines

If you look closely at the front surface of your teeth, you may notice tiny cracks in the enamel. These are very common and form over time due to natural pressure on your teeth from chewing. They can occur more quickly if you grind your teeth or have any misalignment. These do not cause any pain and unless you are specifically looking for them, you probably won’t even notice them.

Treatment is not usually necessary for craze lines except for cosmetic reasons. If you are self-conscious about surface-level cracks, porcelain veneers are a great way to cover these imperfections.

Cracked Teeth Above the Gum Line

Cracks that are deeper in the tooth are not only unsightly, they can cause tooth sensitivity and pain. If you have a crack that extends beyond the enamel and into the dentin (the next layer of your tooth), you will likely begin to notice it. Over time, it is likely that the crack will extend below the gum line and become even more serious. These cracks can be caused by trauma to the tooth, long-term grinding, or continued pressure from misalignment. If you see any cracks in your teeth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Cracks above the gum line may be treated with dental bonding. During this process, your dentist will use a composite resin material, which is the same type for tooth-colored fillings. We will make sure that it matches your tooth and looks natural while also sealing the crack and stopping further damage.

Deep Cracks and Split Teeth

A crack that starts above the gum line can extend downward if left untreated. It’s also possible for an impact or serious trauma to the tooth to immediately cause a deep crack. In severe cases, this can cause the tooth to split in half. If the crack is very painful, bleeding heavily, or if any portion of the tooth has fallen out, this is a dental emergency. You should save any portion of the tooth that fell out and place it in a glass of milk if possible.

The available treatments for a severely cracked tooth depend on how much of the tooth structure has been impacted. If the crack extends into the root, extraction may be necessary. An implant and crown or a bridge can be used to restore your smile after removing the damaged tooth. It might also be possible to save some of the tooth and cover it with a crown. This is highly dependent on the circumstances of the crack and your dentist will likely need to take X-rays and fully examine the damage to determine what your options are.

Repairing Cracked Teeth

At Smith Dentalworks, we offer cosmetic dentistry services for minor cracks and can also conduct more extensive repairs for seriously cracked teeth. If you are a current patient with us, emergency dental appointments are available in some cases.

If you have cracked teeth, contact us today.

When to Consider Porcelain Veneers

Your smile is often your first impression, so you want to make sure it looks its best. If there are issues with your teeth that make you feel self-conscious, it may make you hide your smile. This can affect your relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry is more effective and accessible than ever before. Porcelain veneers are one type of cosmetic procedure that can dramatically improve how your smile looks. These are thin, yet incredibly durable, porcelain shells that are placed on the front side of your teeth.

Here are some situations when you may want to consider porcelain veneers:

Discolored or Stained Teeth

If you want a brighter smile, teeth whitening is often a great option. However, this may not work for you if your teeth are severely discolored or stained. Porcelain veneers can cover this and whiten your smile. Our cosmetic dentist will work with you to find a shade the looks natural and that you are happy with.

Mild Crowding

Veneers can improve your smile if you have mildly crooked teeth. They can be placed over any teeth that are too close together to create a more uniform appearance. However, this cosmetic dental treatment is not generally suited for patients with severe crowding or misalignment. In these cases, orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign clear aligners may be necessary.

Gaps Between Teeth

Do you have a gap between one or more pairs of teeth? If so, veneers can cover the gap and improve the way your smile looks. If there are only two teeth that need correction, we can use porcelain veneers for this area of your smile and will make sure to match the shape and color of your natural teeth. We can also cover a gap as part of a full smile makeover.

Short or Small Teeth

Wear and tear can shorten your teeth over time, or you may have one tooth that is noticeably smaller than those around it. In both of these cases, porcelain veneers can add length and create a more consistent, beautiful smile.

Cracks or Chips

Surface-level imperfections on your teeth can easily be covered by veneers. Whether you have a chipped tooth, a small crack in the enamel, or another issue, we can discuss whether veneers are the best option. Other types of dental care may be more appropriate in the case of significant damage. For example, we may suggest a dental crown.

The Process of Getting Veneers

If you think porcelain veneers could be a good fit for you, the first step is a consultation at our dental office. We will examine your teeth, discuss your cosmetic goals, and develop a treatment plan. If this includes veneers, we will prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of tooth enamel. We will preserve as much tooth structure as possible during this process and will fit you with temporary veneers to wear while you wait for the permanent set. Once the final porcelain veneers are ready, you will return to our office for placement. We will make sure you love your new smile and then will provide you with care instructions to help ensure that your veneers last as long as possible.

Ready for a New Smile?

Schedule an appointment to discuss porcelain veneers or other cosmetic dental procedures.