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How Are Cracked Teeth Fixed?

Crunch! If you know the feeling of cracking a tooth, you’re not alone. Whether it’s from biting down too hard on a popcorn kernel, getting into an accident, or sustaining some other trauma to your tooth, cracked teeth are common—and potentially painful. They’re also treatable, which is reassuring news to many patients. Read on for the lowdown on what can cause a break, along with the best treatment options for cracked teeth.


Causes of Cracked Teeth

You might think cracked teeth are caused by crunching down on ice or some other hard food or non-food substance. You’re right, but that’s not the only way to crack a tooth. Anything that compromises the integrity of the tooth structure can end up leading to a break, crack, or fracture. Here are a few ways teeth can become broken, according to the Cleveland Clinic:


  • Biting down on hard foods
  • Chewing on ice, pencils, and other hard objects
  • Grinding the teeth, which causes crazing and tiny areas of weakness
  • Natural tooth weakening that occurs with age
  • Falls, accidents, violence, and other injuries to the mouth and teeth


As you can see, while many of these causes are avoidable; others might not be. Keep reading to learn about treatment options if you do end up with a cracked tooth.

Dental Treatment Options for Cracked Teeth

Your dentist will help you decide which option is the best for repairing your cracked tooth. One thing is for certain: Leaving it cracked and not fixing it will likely lead to further breakage, decay, and more damage. Whatever you decide, be sure to address the problem as soon as possible!


Dental Fillings and Bonding

For small cracks and chips, fillings and bonding can be enough to fix the problem. These usually consist of tooth-colored filling material, so it will look natural. The process is simple: Your dentist will rough up the tooth with an etching solution, then they’ll apply the bonding material and cure it with an ultraviolet light.


Composite bonding lasts up to a decade. Depending on the extent of the damage and whether decay is present, you might or might not need local anesthetic to have your work done comfortably.


Root Canal Therapy

If the crack is larger and extends close to or into the pulp chamber of the tooth, you’ll need root canal therapy to save it. This is also called a “root canal” or “endodontic therapy.” While you might have heard root canal horror stories, rest assured that today’s modern dentistry methods are painless. You will be completely numb and won’t feel the procedure.


During root canal therapy, your dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth and use tiny instruments to remove the nerve of the tooth. The pulp space is filled with a material to seal the tooth and prevent any bacteria from causing an infection. Finally, the small hole will be filled or you’ll get a crown to further protect the tooth.


Dental Crowns and Caps

A crown, also called a cap, is a shell made of porcelain, metal, or ceramic that encloses and protects the tooth. A crown is often necessary after root canal therapy. They’re also used to prevent further cracking and damage if a tooth has become compromised in some way. A crown is made to look exactly like your tooth.


To place a crown, the dentist will file down the tooth to make space for the crown, and then they’ll fabricate it in the office or send it out to a lab. They’ll also take impressions so the crown fits perfectly in your mouth.



If your cracked teeth are in the front of your mouth, you might have veneers placed. These are usually made of porcelain, and they are thin covers for the front surface of the tooth. They are made carefully so they match your other teeth and look natural. Veneers last for decades when they’re taken care of.


The process of placing a veneer is similar to that of placing a crown, but the tooth is filed much less than it would be for a crown.


Dental Implants

In some cases, a cracked or fractured tooth needs to be extracted. In this case, it’s important to replace the tooth promptly to maintain a nice appearance and to prevent other teeth from shifting. A dental implant is a popular and effective way to replace lost teeth.


The dental implant will be placed under your gum line to provide a lot of stability. Once that heals, a crown will be placed on top to match the rest of your teeth. An implant can’t be done all in one visit; you’ll go back to the office several times to assess healing and to continue the work as it heals.


Learn More About Your Options for Cracked Teeth

Dr. Joseph Goodman is one of the top dentists in Beverly Hills. He has been voted “Top Dentist” and “Best Dentist,” and he works on many celebrities and models. He can create an effective treatment plan for your cracked teeth. Contact his staff to make an appointment.

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