How To Avoid Losing Cracked Teeth through Root Canals

Did you know that chipped or cracked teeth can lead to tooth loss if not promptly and properly treated?


Chipped or cracked teeth may sound like a cosmetic issue on the surface, but there’s much more to them than meets the eye. Just some of the symptoms and side effects of a cracked tooth when not promptly and properly treated include:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Pain when releasing biting pressure
  • Pain sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Possible infection that spreads to the bones and surrounding gums
  • Extraction of the tooth in the most serious cases

What causes cracked teeth?

There are several reasons for cracked teeth, such as:

  • Grinding or clenching teeth, often while sleeping
  • A misaligned bite that can put excessive pressure on one tooth, causing it to crack
  • Teeth with large fillings
  • Teeth that have undergone root canal treatment and have not properly healed

What are the treatment options for cracked teeth?

Treatment for a cracked tooth is dependent on the location, type and size of the crack.

The five types of tooth cracks are:

  • Craze lines. Craze lines are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel of the tooth. More common in adults, craze lines are typically superficial and of no concern.
  • Fractured cusp. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, and the tooth can usually be restored with a full crown.
  • Cracked tooth. A tooth that is cracked from the chewing surface towards the root can sometimes extend below the gum line – and even extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is also common. A cracked tooth that’s not properly and promptly treated will worsen, possibly leading to the loss of the tooth. Root canal treatment may be necessary in this case.
  • Split tooth. Usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth, a split tooth – which can be identified by a crack with distinct segments — can rarely be saved intact. However, proper endodontic treatment and restoration can sometimes save a portion of the tooth.
  • Vertical root fracture. A vertical root fracture, which often shows minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed, begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Treatment may involve endodontic surgery if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root. If not, the tooth may have to be extracted.

Contact Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC

It’s important to remember that cracked teeth are usually not visible to the naked eye. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms and side effects of a cracked tooth, contact Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC, where the root of our practice is unsurpassed care, compassion and comfort!