A crown fracture is a crack to the enamel and dentin. Dentin is the second hardest tissue located underneath the enamel that surrounds the pulp, without or without the exposure of the pulp, the interior part of the tooth made up of nerves, cells and connective tissue.
There Are Two Types of Crown Fracture
Uncomplicated Crown Fracture - When you come to the office with a crown fracture, we will try to treat the discomfort by closing the dentin to prevent any microorganisms from damaging the tooth. If there is a clean break and the crown fragment is saved, it can be re-attached with bonding agents. In these cases, a risk of inflammation to the pulp is low, but sometimes we can place a glass ionomer to close the dentin, followed by dental adhesives, and composite resin.
Complicated Crown Fracture - in this case the fracture affects the enamel, dentin, and pulp. If left untreated, pulpal necrosis is inevitable. It is very important that we see you as soon as possible and we will make every attempt to save the pulp and tooth. If this is not possible, a root canal may be needed.
Some studies show that if a crown fracture with pulp exposure occurs and is treated within 24-hours, there is the opportunity to maintain the normal functions of the pulp. But after 24-hours have passed, the chances of a successful treatment diminish significantly, especially in permanent teeth. In this case, a complete removal of the pulp tissue or root canal therapy is advised.
In some extreme cases, when the crown fracture is severe, an extraction may be needed immediately, this is why it's critical to call us right away if you have a cracked tooth from a blow or accident and that way we can do all we can to save your tooth.