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I have a cracked tooth – what can I do?


Illustration of a cracked tooth


If you can see a crack in your tooth, it’s time to visit the dentist. A tooth crack is a visible line either from the gum line to the tip or at the cusp – the pointed biting part of your tooth. While your tooth might not be into 2 parts, the tissue inside the tooth is probably damaged. If you don’t have the problem fixed, the tooth will split.

Sometimes adult teeth have “craze lines.” These are tiny cracks in your tooth enamel that shouldn’t cause you pain and don’t need treatment.

If you can’t see a crack, other tell tale signs that you should see a dentist are:

  • Pain sometimes when chewing (especially when you release a bite)
  • Discomfort from hot and especially cold foods and drinks
  • Sweet foods or drinks cause discomfort
  • Swelling in a small area near the affected tooth

There are 2 ways to treat cracked or chipped teeth: a veneer or tooth crown.

What are veneers?

Veneers are the ideal solution if your tooth still has enough structure. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or plastic that fits over the front of your tooth. To make room for the veneer, your dentist will remove some of the outer enamel (the same thickness as the veneer).

Your dentist then takes an impression of your prepared tooth to make your new veneer. Your veneer is colour matched to your other teeth so that it looks completely natural.

How long do veneers last?

With good oral care your veneers last for many years. Veneers can break or chip like natural teeth. If this happens, your dentist can either repair a chip (if it’s small) or replace the veneer altogether.

What is a tooth crown?

A crown can repair a tooth that doesn’t have enough structure for a veneer (if your nerve is damaged and infected you might need root canal treatment first). The crown fits over your tooth like a cap and strengthens it.

How long do crowns last?

Crowns, like veneer, can last a long time if you look after them. Your dentist will be able to give you an idea of how long you can expect your crown to last.

If you have, or think you might have, a cracked tooth, please call Wickersley Dental Practice in Rotherham on 01709 543033. We offer both routine and emergency dentist appointments.

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