Dental crown fracture refers to any type of fracture that affects the dental crown in such a manner that treatment is needed in order to restore or completely replace the crown. There are two different types of fractures in this case: those that don’t involve the dental pulp and those, less superficial, that affect the dental pulp either as a whole or merely a part of it.
In the majority of cases, the causes of dental crown fractures are external: the tooth is hit by something or you try to chew food that is too hard (nuts, pistachios, etc.). This means that this particular type of condition can be easily avoided provided that you’re careful enough with your teeth.
In order to diagnose the fracture, your dentist may require an X-ray (especially if the loose segment extends below the gums). As long as the pulp is not exposed, treatment should be straightforward. However, there are cases when the fracture extends far below the gingival line, thus affecting the tooth as a whole, even though the pulp stays intact. So as long as the end of the fracture is not easily visible, your dentist will need to inspect the lateral side of tooth and determine the extension of the fracture.
Here are the most common treatments following dental crown fracture:
- Superficial fracture – fragments removal; and crown restoration;
- Moderate fracture – fragments removal; gingivectomy; endodontic treatment; extrusion of apical fragment (if the case); crown restoration;
- Severe fracture – surgical extrusion followed by a surgical repositioning of the root (if the root suffered a repositioning due to the fracture); root submergence (in some cases it is preferred to leave the root in place in order to maintain the volumetric integrity of the bone tissue); extraction, followed by implant.
In either of the cases above, it is obvious that dental crown fractures may impose serious risks on your dentition, risks which can be avoided by a correct behavior in relation to your teeth. However, if this occurs, set up an appointment to your dentist in order to be diagnosed and treated professionally. This can make the difference between a healthy root and a lost tooth in the future.