Nelson Dentistry
Empty treatment room at dentist in Missoula MT

Cracked Your Tooth? Here's What to Do

May 19, 2020
Posted By: Nelson Dentistry
Patients smiling after dentist appointment in Missoula MT

A cracked tooth can certainly ruin your day, and depending on the severity might even turn into a dental emergency.

While our enamel is the hardest substance in our body, it can still be quite fragile under pressure. Teeth crack if you bite down hard on something that isn't soft, like hard candies or ice. They can easily break after teeth grinding, trauma or injury to the face, or even just natural aging due to years of work chewing.

Common Causes of A Cracked Tooth

  • Bruxism or teeth grinding
  • Cavity too large for a filling
  • Injury or accident to the face or mouth
  • Sensitivity to changing temperatures
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Poor oral hygiene

Not All Teeth Crack Equally

Tooth cracks can show up as superfine lines or cracks on the outer surface of your tooth. As long as the cracks do not penetrate the outer layer of enamel, it may not disturb or compromise your tooth. Some of our Missoula patients may wish to fill in the cracks with dental bonding.

Other cracks can be a result of a cavity that has a restorative filling and typically does not need to be restored. The kind of dental cracks that can quickly turn into a dental emergency are cracks that go beneath the gum line or that have penetrated the inner part of the tooth. It's essential that cracks cannot introduce bacteria into your pulp, which can lead to infection or decay. 

Not all cracks are painful, and some patients may never be aware of micro-fractures. If you notice sudden sensitivity to temperatures, pain while biting down, continuous tooth pain, or swollen gums, we recommend that you call the friendly dental team at Nelson Dentistry immediately so we can examine your teeth and look for dental abnormalities. 

How We Treat Chipped or Fractured Teeth in Missoula

The good news is that our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Jonathan Nelson, has multiple dental procedures that can all address a cracked tooth, including:

  • Tooth-colored filling—Also known as cosmetic dental bonding, we artfully blend composite resin to fill cracks even reshape teeth that have eroded through tooth grinding
  • Dental crown—If a tooth has a large filling that has removed a large portion of the tooth's structure, or if the tooth is weakened and needs structure and protection, we may recommend a dental crown to keep your entire tooth safe
  • Porcelain veneer—Veneers are thin, translucent dental prosthetics that we bind to the front surface of your tooth
  • Root canal therapy—Once a crack has extended towards the inner portion of the tooth, we can use a root canal to save the tooth from infection

Contact Us to Treat Your Chipped Teeth

Call your Missoula, MT dentist today to fix any chips or cracks and restore your smile. 

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (406) 542-3305
View the ADA Accessibility Statement
Nelson Dentistry is open for normal patient visits with additional COVID-19 safety protocols that follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Dental Association (ADA), and Montana Dental Association (MDA) recommendations.  Please email us through our website or give us a call at 406-542-3305 to schedule an appointment.  We look forward to seeing you again!