Most often, a fractured tooth begins innocently. After you bite into a piece of candy, there is one hard piece that does not dissolve. As you examine the chipped piece of your tooth, you begin to wonder if you will need to see our endodontist in 40207 for a root canal.
It can be painful and unpleasant to break a tooth. There are various reasons why teeth can break, including decay, failing restorations, cracks in the tooth, and, of course, accidental trauma. There is a difference between a “broken” and a “cracked” tooth. A cracked tooth is one that has a small crack within it but is still relatively intact. Similarly, a cracked tooth can be compared to a cracked windshield. Despite the crack, the windshield remains intact. Just like cracks in a windshield, cracks in a tooth can slowly spread over time.
Broken teeth, on the other hand, refer to teeth that have lost a portion of their clinical crown, the visible part of the tooth above the gum line. Broken teeth are vastly different from cracked teeth. In almost all cases, a broken tooth requires immediate care, either in the form of a large filling or a crown.
It is quite common to treat broken teeth with root canals. This depends on the exact nature of the break, how much tooth structure remains, and how much of it is healthy and free from decay. In addition, the type of tooth in question plays a role in the decision to perform endodontic treatment on a broken tooth.
Fractures in the back of the mouth may necessitate root canal therapy for different reasons than those in the front of the mouth. The most common reasons for breaking a tooth in the back of your mouth are decay that weakens the tooth structure, failing restorations, or old dental fillings that are causing physical stress to the tooth. There is typically a need for root canals in this situation due to exposure of the nerve or residual decay, which, when removed, leaves the nerve exposed.
Tooth fractures on your front teeth?
Teeth in the front of your mouth tend to break for different reasons than those in the back. A front tooth is most commonly broken by some sort of physical trauma. In other words, by an accident during physical activity. A root canal on a front tooth, as well as some premolars, may be necessary more as a prophylactic measure. For instance, if a front tooth is deemed to need a crown but does not have enough healthy tooth structure, a root canal may be necessary.
In summary, root canal therapy is often necessary to save a tooth and preserve its functionality and health. It doesn’t matter whether the pulp is exposed by a fracture or if decay undermines a tooth and threatens the nerve, the intent is always the same: to remove the pulp in order to restore the tooth. The good news is that root canal therapy and a suitable restoration, such as a crown, can almost always save a fractured tooth.
To schedule an appointment, please contact our endodontics office in Louisville, KY if you have recently fractured a tooth or have been experiencing discomfort with a tooth.