Replacing An Irreversibly Cracked Front Tooth

Dentist Blog

When a vertical crack in a tooth extends from the tooth's visible surface (known as its crown) down to beneath the gum line, there's little hope for the tooth. Once the crack encompasses the tooth's entire length and has reached its subgingival supporting structures, the tooth generally can't be saved. This isn't a dentist prematurely giving up but is a realistic assessment of the tooth's chances, which can save you from the distress of undergoing intensive treatment that has a low chance of success. So what's next for your irreversibly cracked tooth?  

Anterior Teeth

It's arguably more distressing when such a vertical crack affects an anterior tooth. These are the teeth toward the front of your upper or lower dental arch and are visible when you speak or smile. Such a prominent crack is going to be visible, which can cause emotional distress—in addition to the physical discomfort associated with the crack. 

Tooth Extraction

Unfortunately, the only option for such an expansive vertical crack is extraction. The tooth must be removed as soon as possible. Any delay allows for further irritation (and possible infection) of the tooth's pulp, which is its nerve. This can be exceptionally painful, and prompt extraction is necessary to spare you from this. However, an extracted anterior tooth leaves you with a very obvious gap in your smile.  

Replacement Options

Although there are several ways in which a dentist can replace a missing tooth—such as a dental bridge or partial dentures, there's only one way to ensure that the replacement tooth looks entirely natural, and this is with dental implants. The implant is a tiny titanium alloy screw placed in your jaw, which replicates the function of a tooth root. A prosthetic tooth (manufactured to be a copy of your missing tooth) is then secured to the implant.

Bone Mass in Your Jaw

With the implant integrating with your jawbone and then being capable of absorbing the bio-mechanical forces directed downwards from the prosthetic tooth, an implant not only looks like a natural tooth—it behaves just like one too. It's in your best interests to receive an implant as soon as possible after your cracked anterior tooth is extracted. This ensures that you'll retain enough bone mass in your jaw to support the implant. Mass in your jaw can be depleted when a tooth is missing, as the bone no longer has to support the pressure experienced by the tooth.

Your dentist may decide that you'll need a brief period of healing after your tooth is extracted but can provide you with a temporary prosthesis to slot into the gap until your dental implant procedure can be performed—which will be in the very near future. This is the most natural way to replace an anterior tooth that was lost to a vertical crack.

Contact a local dental office to learn more about dental implants


6 October 2022