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One great threat to your teeth is an untreated crack. Cracks are ideal breeding grounds for the bacteria that cause decay and they also significantly weaken the structure of the tooth. Many things can cause a fracture in a tooth, such as grinding or clenching teeth excessively, or suffering an impact from playing sports or a fall. Cracks are one dental injury you should not wait to treat.

The severity and location of the crack will determine how Dr. Indra Quagliata will fix it. A crack is defined by what part of the tooth it affects. For example, if just part of the chewing surface of the tooth is broken off, it’s called a fractured cusp. A fractured tooth is when a vertical crack extends from the biting surface of the tooth down towards the root. It can sometimes form into a split tooth if the crack extends too far and separates the tooth into parts. And other times, a crack can start at the root and extend upward. These are hard to detect, and the surrounding tissue and bone are often infected before they are discovered.

Depending on the location of the crack, a fractured cusp can be treated with either a filling or a crown. A cracked tooth is treatable with a crown if the crack does not extend below the gumline – it will need to be extracted – or into the pulp. If it does extend into the pulp, the tooth might be saved by a root canal treatment and crown. A split tooth cannot be saved intact, but part of it might, depending on the fracture’s location and extent. A tooth with a fractured root will most likely be extracted, but can occasionally be saved by a procedure that removes the cracked portion.

If you’ve recently cracked a tooth, contact IQ Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Rochester, New York, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Indra Quagliata. We will be happy to assist you.