Cracked vs Chipped Teeth

Having a great smile is something that everyone strives for. In fact, when you ask most people what the first thing they notice about a person is, often they will state it is their smile. Over 99 percent of people asked in the United States said they believe that it is important socially to have good teeth. Unfortunately, keeping your teeth healthy can be tricky. We do things to our teeth each day that can cause them harm. From the things that we eat that cause discoloration such as coffee, tea, and soda, from taking part in activities that can cause damage to the teeth themselves. Different types of damage can happen when dealing with cracked vs chipped teeth as well.

Cracked vs Chipped Teeth

A common dental accident that many people will experience at some point in their lives is having a tooth that is cracked or chipped. Many people might think that a chipped tooth and a cracked tooth are the same things. However, there are some differences in the types of damage that you can do to your teeth.

Chipped Tooth

When a person chips, or breaks a tooth there is a chance that they are not going to experience much tooth pain with it. In fact, unless the chip is big enough to expose the inner layer of the tooth where the nerves are located, there is a good chance that you might not even notice an issue. The first time that you notice a chip might be when you run your tongue over the area and notice that it is not smooth, but rather rough or jagged. Typically, a chip in a tooth will start on the outside or on the end of the tooth and then work its way to the inside.

Treatments for Chipped or Broken Teeth

If you notice that you have a chip in one of your teeth, it is important to make sure that you visit a dentist as soon as possible. The way your dentist will repair a chipped tooth will depend on whether it is a major or minor chip.

If the chip in your tooth is somewhat small, a dentist will likely be able to simply smooth over the chip and polish the tooth. However, if the chip in your tooth is larger, a crown, filling, or cap might be necessary in order to restore the function of the tooth and provide a better appearance for the tooth that is damaged. If the chip is really large, your dentist might have to perform root canal treatment to save the tooth and prevent tooth decay. Then, your dentist will cap the tooth to restore function.

Cracked Tooth

The difference between a cracked tooth and a chipped tooth is that a crack will often start near the gum line. Cracks in teeth affect tooth enamel and can damage the entire tooth, including the root. Pain is typical when a tooth is cracked as the nerves and blood vessels are generally affected when this type of injury to the tooth occurs. Pain is often more noticeable when you chew on the tooth that is damaged or if you eat something that is extremely hot or cold.

Treatments for a Cracked Tooth

For cracks that are small, treatment will typically include bonding to repair the area. Resin is placed inside of the crack to help keep the tooth together. If there is damage to the pulp of the tooth, a root canal might be needed to repair the tooth. A crown or cap is then placed over the damaged tooth.


If you chip or crack your tooth, schedule an appointment with a local dentist as soon as possible. While waiting for your appointment, you may take pain-relieving medication to help with any discomfort. You can also rinse your mouth with salt water to help get rid of infection-causing bacteria. Take care of the cracked tooth on your own as best as possible before your dental appointment to help reduce further damage.


If only a small piece of the tooth is chipped, your dentist can place a filling. If the cracked tooth is in the front of your mouth, your dentist will use a composite resin that is the color of the tooth. Bonding typically does not require any type of numbing. Your local dentist will roughen up the area and then apply an adhesive material to the tooth. Then, the resin will be put on the tooth. Finally, the dentist will then shape the bonding material so that it looks like your natural tooth.

Caps and Crowns

If you have broken a larger piece of the tooth or if there is a lot of tooth decay, your dentist will file away what remains of the tooth and then use a cap or a crown to cover the hole. Caps and crowns are designed to protect the tooth and also will improve the overall appearance of your smile. A dentist will make permanent crowns using porcelain, metal, resin, or ceramic. Each type of crown has its own benefits, however, the strongest is the all-metal crowns. Resin and porcelain dental crowns are great for creating a crown that looks just like the original tooth.

Root Canal

Did your tooth break off down to the root? If so, you may need to have a root canal. During a root canal procedure, the dentist will kill off the root and save as much of the tooth as possible. Next, resin will be used to build up the tooth. Your dentist will then place a crown or cap over the tooth for additional protection. A root canal procedure will typically be done over at least two visits to your local dentist’s office.

If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, it is important to see your dentist right away for proper treatment. Teeth that have this type of damage and are left untreated can cause more oral health issues in the future.

Regency Family Dentistry Omaha | Best Omaha Dentist near Westroads Mall in Regency

Whether your teeth needs are a:

  • complete exam and cleaning,
  • full-mouth restoration
  • or anything in between

We promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile.  Below are just some of the many procedures and dental services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results.  Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.

Preventative Dentistry

  • Dental Exams
  • Dental Cleanings
  • Oral Cancer Exam
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • Sealants
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Home Care
  • Nightguards & Mouthguards

Cosmetic Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Composite Fillings
  • Porcelain Crowns
  • FixedPorcelain Bridges
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Tooth Whitening

Periodontal Disease

  • What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Maintenance

Restorative Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Inlay Restorations
  • Onlay Restorations
  • Composite Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Dentures & Partial Dentures
  • Fixed Bridges
  • Root Canal Therapy

Oral Surgery

  • Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Have Any Questions?

Contact us today! We are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Dear Valued Patient

Happy 2024! All of us at Regency Dental hope your year is off to a great start. As many of you have already witnessed, there are changes occurring within our practice for the past several months. Dr. Spanel is in a time of transition within the practice, and he has found a colleague who shares his core values, philosophy, and sense of personalized quality care. He was fortunate to find Dr. Dan Ellingson who is a wonderful, gentle dentist. Dr. Ellingson is a local graduate of Gross High School, UNO, and UNMC College of Dentistry. He has a strong commitment to our local community. Having this opportunity to own a private practice, Dr. Ellingson is eager to meet each of you. He and all staff members will continue working diligently to provide you with the same caring, calm and meticulous dental care you would expect to receive from Dr. Spanel.

As we continue to move forward in 2024 with this transition, we thank you for your trust, partnership, and patience as we welcome Dr. Ellingson to the practice. We have additional team members, and have updated our software programs to comply with HIPAA regulations of paperless charting. We are also updating our equipment to provide state-of-the-art care.

We all know that changes bring challenges. Please know that Dr. Spanel, Dr. Ellingson and the team at Regency Dental intend to provide you, our loyal patients, the very best dental care in a warm and compassionate atmosphere. If you haven’t scheduled your 2024 dental check-ups, please call us!

We look forward to seeing you again soon!


The Doctors and Staff at Regency Dental.