Some of our patients would call us to say, “My tooth cracked after a root canal. What shall I do?”
If your tooth did crack after a root canal, then you’re more likely to suffer from a condition known as cracked tooth syndrome. In this condition, fractures aren’t clearly noticeable. They can’t even be noticed in dental x-rays. In other words, they’re just too small to show up on x-rays. It’s also challenging for dentists to identify if the crack is under the gum. It usually appears on molars or lower back teeth. The reason for this is that these teeth absorb most of the forces when you chew your food.
Now, if you grind or clench your teeth, you’re more likely to suffer from this dental condition.
On the other hand, if your teeth don’t fit well and they put too much pressure on one tooth, the fitting can cause your teeth to crack.
In the case of root canal treatment, the affected tooth is weaker than your other teeth, making it more inclined to crack.
What are the symptoms to be aware of?
Unfortunately, the symptoms of this type of dental condition can come and go. You may experience a feeling of pressure or a pain each time you bite down or eat a specific food. If it’s left untreated, your tooth will become loose.
The first thing that you must do when you see a crack in the root canal area is to call your dentist. Your dentist will perform a procedure that can prevent further damage to the affected tooth.
Diagnosing cracked tooth syndrome
It’s difficult to diagnose it. However, if you see a crack in your root-canal tooth, then your dentist will perform a full examination. With the use of a dental explorer, your dentist can look for cracks and any type of dental irregularities. Your dentist will especially look into a crack around the gum line.
An additional x-ray is requested, if necessary. To better inspect the tooth in question, a fiber optic light and a special dye are used to check for tiny cracks.
In cases of obvious cracks, treatment is fairly straightforward. But it’s highly recommended that you visit your dentist as soon as possible. Restoring your tooth can be done with the use of a dental crown. Doing so will prevent further damage to the tooth.
On the other hand, if the crack is too severe, a tooth extraction may be recommended or necessary. If this is your case, your tooth will be replaced with a dental implant, a partial denture or a dental bridge. These options will prevent gum or bone loss while protecting the surrounding teeth.
What to do to prevent your root-canal tooth from cracking?
A cracked tooth can’t sometimes be prevented. But there are steps to make to make your tooth less susceptible to cracking. One of them is to avoid chewing on hard objects, like ice or kernels. Clenching or grinding your teeth is also a no-no.