Now it’s time to tackle that stubborn crack and get back to enjoying food! Taking initiative is hands down the most important step in treating your cracked tooth. For some, picking up the phone and getting thru the door is the hardest step to take. Does this ring true for you? If it does, you’re not alone, and there’s no shame in that. This blog post will help give you the tools you need in order to feel empowered and in control of your dental appointment.
Before starting ANY kind of dental treatment, make sure your Dentist clearly describes and lists every step of the process you are about to undergo. The world of dentistry can be daunting, and may leave you feeling left in the dark if you aren’t well informed. You have every right to fully understand what’s going to be happening in YOUR mouth, so don’t hesitate to ask any and all questions that come to mind.
As said in the previous blog post, a cracked tooth is painful on releasing your bite, when the crack moves. To stop the movement, and thus stop the pain, your tooth will need to fully covered and protected with a crown. A crown is made of metal and porcelain, and is the perfect solution due to it’s strength, longevity, and natural appearance and function.
To determine the correct course of action to ultimately get the crown for your tooth, your Dentist will do a few different things. Once you’re in the chair, your Dentist will have to replicate the pain you so terribly felt while eating. Know amongst dentists as a “tooth slooth”, your doctor will have you bite on a stick on every surface of every tooth in order to precisely find where the crack is. It’s very difficult to find, as it could be microscopic and undetectable to the naked eye and/or xrays. Be patient and do not get discouraged if he/she cannot find it right away. Cracks will never go away or heal on it’s own; if you’ve felt it once, you’re guaranteed to feel it again at some point. In addition to the tooth slooth, the dentist may use cold water or ice to trigger the pain. It’s imperative that you do not get any sort of treatment unless the Dentist successfully finds the crack in your tooth.
Once found, the Dentist will remove the crack by gently buffing it out. Any surrounding fillings will be removed as well. Then, a temporary crown will be made for your tooth. This temporary crown will be the perfect test in assessing just how severe and deep the crack is. Treat the temporary crown as though it’s a normal tooth- eat, chew and clean that area of your mouth as you normally would. If you feel absolutely no pain when eating with the temporary crown, the crack was successfully taken care of and all you need next is to have a permanent crown.
If you still feel pain with the temporary crown, that’s an indication that there’s a more serious underlying problem that must be addressed. What this pain tells us, is that the crack has gotten so deep it’s hitting the nerve inside the tooth. There is also a possibility, depending on how long the crack has exposed the nerve, that the root of the tooth is infected. Bacteria and infection must be thoroughly removed before the permanent crown is placed. The consequences of not having a root canal will lead to the continued growth of the infection, resulting in bone loss and/or loss of the whole tooth, not to mention the worst pain imaginable. With the root canal completed, and your custom, permanent crown in place, your pain will cease to exist.