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What Happens if I Don’t Repair a Crack in My Tooth?

A cracked or fractured tooth may or may not need treatment, depending on the severity of the damage. A tooth generally consists of several layers, including the outer enamel, the inner core of the tooth (dentin), and the soft dental pulp. A fracture can penetrate any or all of these layers, and the most appropriate treatment for your needs will be based on whether the crack affects your appearance, your dental health, and/or causes any pain:

  • Cosmetic bonding: Dental bonding involves applying layers of a durable, tooth-colored resin to reshape a chipped or cracked tooth. This can restore the dimensions of a full tooth structure without having to remove any natural tissue. While less enduring than a veneer or crown, cosmetic bonding can be ideal for mild to moderate tooth damage.
  • Dental crowns: If a tooth fracture causes pain, sensitivity, or the missing piece is too large, a dental crown may be the best restoration to protect and reinforce the weakened tooth. This “cap” is placed over the cracked tooth to prevent further damage.
  • Porcelain veneers: For those bothered by the appearance of a minor tooth crack but who don’t have any functional concerns, porcelain veneers can be a simple, convenient, and lasting treatment to mask any cosmetic imperfections. Veneers are very enduring and can hide minor flaws in the teeth for years — even decades.
  • Root canal: A root canal is utilized when a fracture in the enamel causes a tooth infection. Root canal therapy is typically the most effective way to remove diseased tissue, cleanse the area, and heal the infected tooth.
  • Extraction, followed by dental implants or bridges: A deep crack can lead to bacteria buildup in the soft inner dental pulp, which can cause severe damage to the roots and nerves of a tooth. In these situations, the best course of action may be to extract the affected tooth and replace it with a dental implant or dental bridge.

If your tooth fracture isn’t very deep, and doesn’t compromise your smile or oral health, your dental team may not recommend any treatment right away. Regardless of the best solution to achieve your goals, our team of multispecialty dentists can help you restore the full integrity of your smile.

At Scripps Center for Dental Care, our team of friendly and compassionate dentists can evaluate the damage to your tooth and develop an effective plan to restore a bright smile and optimal oral health. If you have a fracture in your enamel, don’t hesitate to contact our San Diego practice to schedule a consultation.

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For more information, or if you with to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact our office today.

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