Types of Cracks
Craze lines are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are more common in adults. These types of cracks are aesthetic in nature and are usually no cause for concern.
When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or be removed by a dentist. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so root canal is not necessary. Your dentist will usually restore the tooth with a full crown.
This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertically migrates towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. In this case, root canal treatment is usually necessary. An untreated cracked tooth can rapidly worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. If you feel like you have a cracked tooth, speak with your dentist immediately, as early detection is essential to save cracked teeth.
A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. A split tooth is beyond full restoration; this type of tooth can never be saved fully. However, the position and extent of the crack will dictate whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. In some positive cases, endodontic retreatment by the doctors and restoration by your dentist can be used to save a portion of the tooth.
Vertical Root Fracture
A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Vertical root fractures can be difficult to detect because they show minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. If a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root, treatment involves endodontic surgery. Otherwise a vertical root fracture will require extraction of the tooth.