Saving a Cracked Tooth Under a Crown: Exploring Treatment Options

Key Takeaways

  • Causes:Trauma, hard foods, decay, wear crack teeth under crowns.
  • Signs:Sharp pain, sensitivity, crown changes indicate a crack.
  • Treatment:Varies by severity: replace, bond, root canal, extract, or stabilize.
  • Risks of Untreated:Injury, decay, cleaning issues, gum problems, abscess, costly treatments.

Dealing with a cracked tooth under crown can be a concerning dental issue, raising questions about the stability of dental restorations and the overall health of the affected tooth. In this discussion, we will delve into the common causes of a cracked tooth beneath a crown, the signs that may indicate such a problem, and the potential solutions to address this dental challenge.

Causes of a Cracked Tooth Under Crown

There are several causes that can lead to a cracked tooth under a crown, including trauma or injury, biting into hard foods, untreated tooth decay, wear and tear over time, and bruxism habits. Trauma or injury, such as a blow to the face or an accident, can result in a cracked tooth beneath a dental crown. Biting into hard foods, like ice or hard candies, with excessive force can also cause a crack to develop.

Causes of a Cracked Tooth Under Crown

Untreated tooth decay weakens the tooth structure, making it more susceptible to cracks. Over time, the crown itself can become worn or deteriorated, leading to cracks in the underlying tooth. Furthermore, bruxism, the habit of grinding or clenching teeth, places immense pressure on the teeth, which can result in cracks. It is important to address these causes promptly to prevent further damage. If you experience any pain or discomfort, or if you notice a crack in your tooth or crown, it is crucial to visit your dentist for an evaluation.

Treatment options may include repair or replacement of the crown, root canal therapy, or extraction if necessary. Ignoring a cracked tooth under a crown can lead to further complications, such as infection or damage to the surrounding gum tissues.

Signs and Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

If you have a cracked tooth, there are several signs and symptoms that you may experience. It is important to be aware of these indicators so that you can seek treatment promptly. Here are three common signs and symptoms of a cracked tooth:

  1. Sharp pain when chewing or biting: If you feel a sharp, intense pain when you bite down on food, it could be a sign of a cracked tooth. This pain may be localized to the area where the tooth is cracked.
  2. Temperature sensitivity: If you experience discomfort or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, it could be a sign of a cracked tooth. This sensitivity is caused by the exposed dentin or nerve endings in the tooth.
  3. Changes in the crown’s appearance: If you notice any changes in the appearance of your dental crown, such as discoloration, cracks, or chips, it could indicate a cracked tooth underneath. This is especially true if the crown is old or has been in place for a long time.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment and see a dentist immediately. Ignoring the signs of a cracked tooth can lead to further damage, such as tooth decay or a split tooth. Prompt treatment options, such as a root canal or dental crown, can help protect your tooth and preserve its structure. Remember to prioritize good oral hygiene and regular dental care to prevent future complications. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or see your dentist for professional advice.

Treatment Options for a Cracked Tooth

Treatment options for a cracked tooth under a crown include various procedures such as crown replacement, dental bonding, root canal, extraction, and crack stabilization. The appropriate treatment option depends on the severity of the crack and the extent of the damage to the tooth.

For minor cracks, dental bonding may be used to repair the tooth. This involves applying a tooth-colored resin to the cracked area and then shaping and polishing it to match the natural tooth. This option is most effective when the crack is superficial and does not extend into the underlying tooth structure.

Treatment Options for a Cracked Tooth

If the crack beneath the crown is severe, a root canal may be required to salvage the tooth. This entails extracting the damaged pulp, cleansing, disinfecting, and filling the area. Following the root canal, a new crown can be affixed to restore the tooth’s function and appearance, particularly in cases of Front Tooth Filling.

In some cases, the crack may be too severe to save the tooth. In these situations, tooth extraction may be necessary to prevent further damage and potential infection. After extraction, options such as dental implants or bridges can be considered to replace the missing tooth.

It is important to seek immediate dental attention if you suspect a cracked tooth under a crown. Delaying treatment can lead to decay and infection, and may result in the loss of the tooth. Remember, a cracked tooth is a dental emergency that requires prompt care to save the tooth and prevent complications.

Factors That Determine the Success of Treatment

To ensure the success of treatment for a cracked tooth under a crown, several factors must be considered, including the severity of the crack and its impact on the tooth’s structure and roots. Here are three important factors that determine the success of treatment:

  1. Severity of the crack: The extent of the crack plays a crucial role in determining the appropriate course of action. If the crack is minor and only affects the outer surface of the tooth, a new crown may be sufficient. However, if the crack extends deep into the tooth, reaching the inner layers, more extensive treatment may be necessary, such as a root canal or extraction.
  2. Timeliness of intervention: Early detection and prompt treatment are vital in saving a cracked tooth underneath a crown. Delaying treatment may allow bacteria to enter the crack, leading to tooth decay and further damage. Seeking professional help as soon as possible increases the chances of saving the tooth and preventing complications.
  3. Overall oral health: The condition of the surrounding teeth and gums can impact the success of treatment for a cracked tooth. If the adjacent teeth are also damaged or if there are underlying gum issues, it may affect the stability and longevity of the treatment. Therefore, addressing any oral health concerns in conjunction with treating the cracked tooth is essential for a successful outcome.

Considering these factors, it is crucial to consult with a dentist who can evaluate the severity of the crack and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. By addressing the crack promptly and taking into account the overall oral health, you can maximize the chances of saving the tooth underneath the crown and ensuring a successful outcome.

Potential Complications if a Cracked Tooth Is Left Untreated

Neglecting treatment for a cracked tooth can lead to severe complications. When a tooth is cracked under a crown, it is crucial to seek prompt dental care to save the tooth and prevent further damage. If left untreated, a cracked tooth can result in various potential complications.

Potential Complications if a Cracked Tooth Is Left Untreated

Tooth enamel wears away due to various factors such as acidic foods, poor oral hygiene, and teeth grinding. If left untreated, this erosion can lead to complications, including further dental injury. As the enamel thins, the tooth becomes vulnerable to cracks, which can extend deeper into its structure, weakening it and increasing the risk of fractures or breakage. In severe cases, this may result in a split tooth, rendering it irreparable and necessitating extraction as the only viable option.

Another complication of an untreated cracked tooth is increased vulnerability to decay and infection. When a crack extends beneath the gum line, it becomes difficult to clean the affected area properly. Bacteria can accumulate in the crack, leading to decay and infection. In severe cases, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissues, causing gum disease or even abscess formation.

An untreated cracked tooth may require more extensive and costly dental treatments in the future. If the crack progresses, it may reach a point where the tooth cannot be saved, and extraction becomes necessary. Losing a tooth can have significant implications for your oral health, including bite problems, shifting of adjacent teeth, and bone loss.

Tips for Preventing a Cracked Tooth Under a Crown

To prevent a cracked tooth under a crown, it is essential to follow these tips for maintaining optimal oral health:

  1. Regular dental check-ups: Make sure to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. This will help maintain good oral hygiene and allow potential cracks or fractures to be detected early on. By addressing these issues promptly, you can prevent further damage to the tooth and potentially save it from needing a root canal or extraction.
  2. Use a mouthguard: If you participate in contact sports or grind your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard is crucial. This protective device helps distribute pressure evenly and prevents excessive force on the teeth. By reducing the risk of trauma or injury to the crowned tooth, you can minimize the chances of it cracking or breaking.
  3. Avoid chewing on hard foods: Be mindful of what you eat and avoid biting or chewing on hard foods like ice, candy, popcorn kernels, or bones. These hard substances can exert excessive pressure on the chewing surface of the tooth, increasing the likelihood of a crack. By making smarter food choices, you can protect your crowned tooth and maintain its integrity.


In conclusion, addressing a cracked tooth under crown requires prompt attention and consideration of various treatment options. Regular dental check-ups, awareness of potential symptoms, and maintaining good oral hygiene are crucial in preventing and managing such issues. If faced with this situation, consulting with a qualified dentist is essential to determine the best course of action and preserve both the tooth and the integrity of the dental crown. Remember, early intervention plays a key role in maintaining a healthy and functional smile.

STATISTIC: According to a study published in the Journal of Endodontics, 85% of cracked teeth under crowns can be saved with proper treatment.


Kevin Walters

Kevin Walters is a leading expert in dentistry, focusing on gum disease and tooth problems. Through Dentist Decode, he shares cutting-edge insights for optimal oral health. Kevin's commitment extends to community outreach, emphasizing overall well-being. Connect with him for concise, expert guidance on a healthier smile.