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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

Small fracture or split in tooth

Is there a way to repair a chipped tooth with a porcelain filling or is it time to replace the tooth? I feel it's getting worse as I apply more pressure while eating things like corn nuts.

Does this mean the crack is getting worse over time? Thank you doctors in advance! This is a wonderful service you're doing.
  • Male | 33 years old
  • Complaint duration: 50 days
  • Height: 95
  • Weight: 186lbs
  • Medications: zolpidem
  • Allergies: Random test: 370810977.872741
  • Conditions: no

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Featured Answer

1 UpVoted this answer
A cracked tooth left untreated will worsen over time. The severity of the crack must be determined before the best treatment recommendation can be made. There are no such things as porcelain "fillings". The most important criteria for choosing the best treatment is to protect the nerve and prevent further cracking. Often times porcelain onlays or full coverage crowns are the treatment of choice. If the crack is severe it may have allowed bacteria to invade the pulp whereby a root canal may be required prior to the restoration. A comprehensive evaluation will provide you with specific answers to your questions. All the best
1 UpVoted this answer
Often times teeth that are cracked can be fixed with different treatment options depending on how deep and severe the crack is. If the crack is superficial normally a composite bonding or a crown would suffice. However if it travels deep near the nerve than a root canal in addition to the crown is recommended. Lastly if the crack travels below the gums and is severe than removing the tooth would be the best option. Hope this helps.
1 UpVoted this answer
It is very difficult to answer your question without an examination. If a crack is simple, a restoration or a crown will correct. A complex crack is that involves the pulp will require root canal therapy, bonding and a crown. The worse situation is a separated fracture. That condition will require extraction and a replacement . Early examination, detection and treatment is essential.
Irvin A. Roseman
1 UpVoted this answer
It is impossible to know what the proper restoration should be without radiographs(xrays) and a clinical exam. Your pain on biting might indicate the potential need for a root canal. You should see a dentist to evaluate you problem as soon as possible
1 UpVoted this answer
A cracked tooth not repaired can indeed get worse. It may not, however, need to be replaced. Often removal of the nerve and placement of a crown solves the problem. If you are having increased pain then it is time to see your dentist and he/she can give you options of ways to take away discomfort yet hopefully preserve the tooth.
Robert T. Wade
1 UpVoted this answer
It is possible the crack on the tooth has gotten worse and if it hurts to chewing the fracture might involve the gum and possibly the root of the tooth if left untreated it will get worse overtime, a visit to the dentist is highly recomended and the dentist might need to take an x- ray of that tooth
Erika Smith MacDonald
Any of the proposed treatments suggested by the doctors may or may not work for you. I suggest that you have your tooth evaluated by a doctor in person. It is impossible to acuratly diagnose and propose a treatment with out a photo, X-ray and a clinical exam. To much information may lead to confusion making it more difficult for you to make a decision on a proper treatment option. Once you have a diagnosis from a doctor, feel free to ask for a second opinion if you still choose to. I hope this helps. Best of luck.
Hossein Javid
It is classic for patients to forget that teeth are body parts that act like the cutting edges of a grinding machine, but unlike the rest of our bodies they do not regenerate or heal (skin, lungs, liver). The the closer the tooth is to the TMJ the greater the load, the greater the load the faster it can potentially deteriorate. If there are any missing teeth that is a complication, if there are cavities is another complication, not a flosser another complication.
A cracked tooth can be a serious problem and it is possible it will require an extraction and replacement. However, you should have the tooth evaluated and have a small x-ray taken. This will help determine the full extent of the problem. If no other issues are found, a small filling can often stop the problem. Sometimes a crown or 'cap' may be required but that usually is a much better option than loosing the tooth.
If the pain id getting worse then you need to go your dentist and take an x-ray and your dentist can tell you if there is a fracture or if you need any other treatments. Sometimes when a fracture is present we need to see where the fracture is if it extends in to the gum tissue we have to evaluate and see if it can be saved or extracted but if the fracture is above the gum tissue then probably it can be saved. Sometimes you may even need a RCT too.