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Cracked, Chipped or Broken Tooth

Cracked, Chipped or Broken Tooth Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

It is a known fact that pressure from biting and chewing over years can weaken teeth. This is usually most evident as a person gets older, though it can happen in young people as well. Many are concerned about the cost of a cracked, chipped or broken tooth, how long will it last, etc., which we answer below.

Since a cracked, chipped or broken tooth can be considered cosmetic, dental insurance plans might question whether or not the procedure should receive approval. Patients should check with their insurance plan to make sure that all cracked, chipped or broken teeth are covered.

The following video features a detailed example of a dentist helping a patient with a cracked tooth.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FRACTURED TEETH

There are many types of tooth fractures.

1. A very small crack under the gum line will not even show up in an x-ray, but the pain will be felt. This is known as “Cracked Tooth Syndrome” and most often occurs in lower molars.

2. Some cracked teeth come from prior dental procedures such as a root canal treatment or large filling, which makes them more susceptible to cracking.

3. “Craze Lines” develop when there is a simple crack in the tooth enamel. These craze lines are common in adults, and affect only the outer enamel and appearance. They cause no pain.

4. When a piece of the tooth chips or breaks off, this is a “Fractured Cusp”. This usually causes little or no pain, and can be repaired with a new filling or crown.

5. A cracked tooth can be minor or major, depending on the length of the crack. Treatment might require a root canal or it may have to be pulled.

6. A Split Tooth is usually the result of a cracked tooth when it is not cared for. Sometimes only part of the tooth can be saved.

7. Vertical Root Fracture is where cracks start in the root of the tooth and proceed upwards to the chewing surface of the tooth. Often this fracture is accompanied with infection in the bone and gums.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A CRACKED OR BROKEN TOOTH?

1. You can feel pain sometimes in the tooth when you bite or chew. The pain might be only occasional or when you chew in a certain way.

2. As the crack in a tooth increases, a piece of the tooth could break off. With a cracked tooth, pain or discomfort can come and go. The pain is not usually consistent.

3. If tooth enamel is thin or damaged, along with neglecting to brush and floss regularly, your teeth can be more susceptible to cracking or actually breaking.

4. Hot or cold temperatures might cause pain in your teeth or a particular tooth, and this can be a sign of a cracked tooth.

5. When you don’t even feel any pain, you might find that your tongue is constantly rubbing a chipped or broken tooth. You don’t know what is wrong, but it is a signal that something definitely needs attention.

WHAT CAUSES A TOOTH TO CRACK OR BREAK?

1. Biting down on hard objects (such as nuts, popcorn, a bone, hard candy, or a piece of ice) can cause a tooth or the filling or the root to crack and even break.

2. Grinding your teeth while sleeping will wear on your teeth and can cause a tooth to crack and possibly even to break.

3. Being hit in the jaw or the face by a ball or a bat can result in a cracked tooth or teeth.

4. Tooth decay or an untreated cavity can cause a tooth to crack or to break.

HOW IS A CRACKED OR BROKEN TOOTH DIAGNOSED?

Your dentist will make the proper diagnosis with a thorough examination. A sharp tool or instrument known as an “explorer” will be used to check the gums and to feel for cracks in your teeth.

As you bite down, another instrument can be used to check for fractures. It looks like a toothbrush without bristles.

A very bright fiber optic light directed at the tooth can sometimes reveal a crack.

X-rays are often taken—but x-rays do not usually reveal the crack.

HOW CAN THE PAIN FROM A CRACKED OR BROKEN TOOTH BE RELIEVED?

Your dentist can help you the most with relieving the pain from your cracked or broken tooth. While you are waiting for your appointment, you might try the following:

1. Do not bite down on any hard food while eating. Eat soft foods, like apple sauce, a protein shake, etc.

2. Avoid food and drinks that are very hot or cold.

3. Floss between the teeth that are cracked or broken. Cleaning out the food can sometimes help reduce the pain.

4. If your tooth is broken or chipped, try sticking a piece of paraffin wax or sugarless gum on it so the tooth will not cut your cheek or tongue.

5. An over-the-counter pain medication can be used.

6. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (salt is an antiseptic) and it helps to remove bacteria and plaque from the area.

WILL A CRACKED OR BROKEN TOOTH COMPLETELY HEAL?

Any treatment for a damaged tooth is important because it will decrease the pain and decrease the possibility of the fracture getting worse. However, there is no guarantee that the fracture will heal completely. A dental crown is often the best treatment for a broken tooth, but there are other treatments that might be recommended by a dentist...

HOW CAN A FRACTURED TOOTH BE TREATED AND WHAT IS THE COST?

Your dental professional will give you the best advice on treating your teeth, and it will depend on the severity of your condition. Click on the link below to see the estimated cost of each procedure.

1. Dental Bonding or Filling is done to the most visible teeth, those in the front of your mouth. A tooth-colored resin can be used for chipped, cracked and discolored teeth. A small crack or enamel chip can be repaired quickly and usually in one office visit.

2. Dental Crown or Cap is used when a piece of the tooth has broken off. The crown or cap protects what remains of the tooth.

3. A Tooth Splint is used on a loose or cracked tooth. The damaged tooth is bonded to the tooth next to it.

4. Root Canal is done to repair the tooth pulp, and a crown, filling, or bonding are done as well to prevent additional damage.

5. If you have been grinding your teeth, your dentist can prescribe or make a night guard for you to prevent the grinding.

HOW DO YOU PAY FOR A CRACKED OR BROKEN TOOTH?

Dental care for everyone is of major importance. Many seniors suffer because of a lack of dental care in early years. Working adults should take advantage of benefits offered in dental insurance—but even that is often not enough. Most often dental insurance is “capped” and doesn’t cover what a person needs or requires in one year. This is where a dental discount program like AmeriPlan Dental can be more beneficial for a lifetime!

People choose AmeriPlan Dental for several reasons, beyond what they save on a cracked or broken tooth:

  • Cosmetic dentistry such as bleaching, bonding and implants are included.
  • Orthodontics (dental braces) included for both children and adults.
  • All ongoing dental / medical problems are accepted (except orthodontic treatment already in progress)
  • No waiting period. You can go to the dentist immediately.
  • All Specialists included - Oral Surgeons, Orthodontists, Endodontists, Periodontists and Prosthodontists.
  • Members may change dentists at any time without having to notify anyone.
  • No annual limitations
  • No paperwork
  • Instant savings

Keep in mind that traditional dental insurance usually only permits about $1,000 per year in coverage so a fractured tooth can go beyond this annual limit, depending on the treatment that's needed. In light of this, most people seeking assistance for the cost of a broken, chipped or cracked tooth choose a discount plan or supplement to their employer paid dental insurance.

People all across America are convinced that AmeriPlan® is the best value dental service available for the whole household - everyone's included. Click the sign-up link below to see the price, plan choices and all the benefits!

PAY LESS FOR A FRACTURED TOOTH BY FOLLOWING THESE STEPS...

  1. Find a dentist => Click Here
  2. Then click on the link below to get started.
After you join, your ID# will be e-mailed to you. Print your e-mail receipt and show it to your AmeriPlan® dentist. Your dentist or oral surgeon can confirm that you are a new member by calling 1-800-647-8421.
Important: Once you become a member, If for any reason you decide that it's not for you, you can cancel at anytime. We want you to be pleased with your membership so you will refer more people to this site.
Treatment for a broken tooth through AmeriPlan Dental® is available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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