If you have recently cracked your tooth, you may be concerned about the way that the crack will affect the health and appearance of your tooth. Shallow cracks can trap colorants from the foods and drinks that you consume to cause unsightly lines on the surface of a tooth. Deeper cracks not only affect the appearance of the tooth, but they can also jeopardize the tooth's health.
Bacteria that dwell within the mouth are kept outside of a tooth by the outer layer of the tooth material, which is called the enamel. However, once the enamel is breached by a crack, the bacteria can reach the deeper of the layers of a tooth, such as the dentin or even the central layer of the tooth, which is the pulp.
The pulp is made of soft living tissue and includes the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth. Once bacteria infect the pulp, the dental nerves in the material can suffer irreparable damage, making a root canal procedure or an extraction necessary.
To help restore the look of a tooth and prevent further damage to it, your dentist may employ several restorative treatments. Here are a few of them.
A crown encases the natural crown of a cracked tooth in a durable dental material that can withstand bite pressure and beautify the tooth. A crown may be made of multiple tooth-colored materials, such as composite resin, porcelain-over-metal or all-porcelain.
The crown fortifies the tooth to prevent the crack from worsening as the device restores the look of the tooth. To ensure that the tooth-colored crown is difficult to discern from a natural tooth, its color can be matched to that of the other teeth in your mouth.
Veneers can also be used to conceal a crack in a tooth. Each veneer is a slender shell of resin or porcelain material that is affixed to the front side of a tooth.
One veneer is sufficient to restore the single cracked tooth. However, if you desire additional cosmetic improvements to other teeth that may be stained, crooked or gapped, a set of veneers may be a better option.
The veneer can be matched to the hue of the other natural teeth. However, if a set of veneers is used, you can select a whiter shade to improve the overall look of your smile.
For more information about covering and protecting a cracked tooth, schedule a consultation at a dental office like Plymouth Valley Dental Group in your local area.