Cracked Tooth: How Can You Save It From Extraction?

Posted on: 27 February 2017

If one of your back teeth cracks and develops decay, you may wonder if it's possible to save the tooth. If your tooth doesn't have a severe infection that spread to your jawbone or damaged the tooth's nerves, it may be possible to save and protect the tooth with a dental crown. Dental crowns are unique restorations that support teeth damaged by fractures, decay, or injury. Here's more details about tooth fractures and what you might do to save your cracked molar.

How Severe Is Your Cracked Tooth?

Although teeth are tougher and stronger than your bones, they can receive damage from decay, trauma, and fractures. Tooth enamel and dentin can't grow back or regenerate once you damage them. In addition, untreated infections can cause extensive damage to a tooth's nerves and the tissues that surround it. It's important to examine your cracked tooth to see if it's salvageable.

Teeth that need immediate dental care due to dying or damaged nerves often react to cold and hot temperatures. For instance, if you drink hot cocoa and your tooth aches or throbs, it may have some type of nerve damage. If the infection in your tooth spread to one of the tooth's roots or the jawbone below or above it, it may hurt to bite down on food. It's also possible for your jaw and neck glands to swell up from an infection in your tooth. 

You want to be very careful if you experience any of the symptoms above. An abscess may potentially spread infectious material to other parts of your face, head, and body without prompt treatment.

How Can You Save Your Tooth?

In order to note the extent of your cracked tooth's damage, you must see a dentist for care. A dentist will generally take X-rays of your face, jaw, and neck to see how deep the infection has spread. If the infection remains localized, such as inside the tooth or in one of its roots, a dentist may clean out the tooth and crown it with a gold, metal, or porcelain cap. The cap prevents additional bacteria from entering the tooth after treatment.

If your tooth isn't healthy enough to save, a dentist may extract it and replace it with a traditional bridge. A traditional bridge is usually comprised of a single false tooth and two crowns. The false tooth fits inside the extracted tooth's empty socket, while the crowns fit securely over the teeth adjacent to the extracted tooth. A dental provider will generally go over the different types of bridges to help you decide on the best one for your needs.

To learn more about your cracked tooth, contact a dentist today like Tony Parsley, DMD.