Four Types of Tooth Fractures

Fractures are extremely common in all dentistry practices. They happen to people of all ages, although they are most common for patients over the age of 25. Fractures are generally painful and can be hard to diagnose, but are typically easy to treat. There are multiple types of fractures, which I will explain below.

The first type of fractured is called an oblique supragingival fracture. This occurs when you bite down too forcefully, and is found above the gums. The good news is this type of fracture generally doesn’t effect the nerves. The pain goes away as soon as the fractured part of the tooth breaks off. The exposed area of the tooth could be sore, but it is easy for a dentist to repair. If the fracture is large enough, you may need a crown to prevent more fractures from occurring in that tooth.

The second type of fracture happens far below the gum line. It is called an oblique subgingival fracture. In this case, the fractured tooth continues to cause terrible pain until you get it removed. This is because the fractured piece of tooth normally remains lodged in the gums after it breaks off. Luckily, it does not usually effect the nerves, although it may result in the need for a root canal to clean out the tooth before you can have a crown put in.

This fracture varies in severity depending on how far it has gone past the gum line. If it is lodged deep into the gum line, saving the tooth may be impossible. However, the crack can be present for many years before you start to feel any pain. Because of this, regular check ups with your dentist are recommended.

The third type of fracture is the oblique root fracture. This fracture does not involve a tooth crown. It is almost always found below the gums, particularly under the bone. If it is near the crown of your tooth, it is almost always fatal. You can attempt to save the tooth with a root canal, however, you will not usually be successful. The tooth will always be lost later due to the abscess of the bone.

The fourth and last type of fracture is called a vertical apical root fracture. It occurs in the tip of the root and is usually the most painful kind of fracture, even if you’ve had the nerve removed with a root canal.

Vertical apical fractures causes pain due to fragments putting pressure on the bone. This strains the fragment pieces, causing intense pain. The only way to fix this fracture is to get a root canal; it will usually help ease the pain and remove the dead part of your tooth that was effected with the fracture.

Fractures are both common and painful, which is why you should never put off going to the dentist. They will become more serious the longer you wait to treat them. Let your dentist diagnose you and fix it before they get any worse.

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