Treating Fractured Root

Trauma to the teeth and mouth can cause serious consequences to a patient’s oral health. Issues such as cracked teeth or root fractures require immediate treatment in order to preserve the tooth and prevent the issue from becoming worse.

Various things can cause a root fracture such as excessive pressure from chewing forces which can cause significant cracks. In addition, fractures can be caused by a large filling which is damaged or lifestyle habits such as chewing on ice, pencils, or using the teeth as a tool.

Different things can cause cracks within the teeth such as:

1. Using the teeth as tools to bite on hard objects or to open things
2. Large fillings which can cause weakness or compromise the integrity of the tooth
3. Blunt force trauma which is common in car accidents and in contact sports
4. Significant and abrupt temperature changes within the mouth

Root Fractures

The teeth can actually fracture in multiple ways. Cracks can be vertical or horizontal, for example. The severity of the crack can also range from mild and barely noticeable to severe and extremely obvious. The ideal treatment will vary based on the cause, severity, location, and long-term prognosis for the tooth. Some of the most common types of root fractures include the following:

* Split tooth: This type of fracture occurs when there are two distinct segments of which can be physically separated.

* Teeth fractures below the gums: This type of fracture occurs when a fracture starts near the crown of the tooth and extends down into the root.

* Vertical root fracture: In some cases, cracks begin at the root and extend upwards toward the crown. This type of fracture does not typically cause pain and is identified when there is infection present in the surrounding gum tissue or jawbone.

Not all types of fractures cause pain. Because there may be little to no symptoms, fractures can remain undetected until they become more serious and potentially cause greater problems. This is another reason why regular visits to the dentist are so critical.

During these appointments, the dentist will complete a thorough examination and obtain dental x-rays.

Below are symptoms commonly associated with a fractured root:
1. Pain when chewing or biting down
2. Sensitivity when the teeth are exposed to hot or cold and sugary things
3. Persistent pain which may come and go
4. Gums which are swollen or inflamed


In the event of a root fracture occurs, the severity of the crack will dictate the ideal treatment. The dentist may be able to reposition and stabilize the tooth using a splint. This is common with milder fractures which extend just below the gum line.

A root canal is typically used in cases where the fracture extends into the tooth’s pulp. This helps preserve the tooth. During a root canal, the dentist or endodontist will remove damaged tissue inside the tooth and treat any infection. The canals and pulp chamber are then filled and a crown is placed to restore and strengthen the damaged tooth.

Root fractures are sometimes severe and unfortunately there is now way to preserve the tooth. In this case, the dentist will extract the tooth. Dentists will make every possible effort to preserve the natural teeth when possible. There are fortunately excellent tooth-replacement options available in cases of extraction including a dental implant.

Can I leave Fractured Tooth Root In