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Fractured Cusps – Treatment Options and Costs Discussed!

a lady with pain from a fractured cusp

A fractured cusp needs to be taken very seriously, as if not treated, it can cause more problems, such as permanently damaging your tooth. So, what is a fractured cusp?

A fractured cusp is a very common dental injury, especially if you have had a filling on the tooth. All of your posterior molars have elevations, called cusps.

Typically, a molar will have four or five cusps each. These cusps are what help you to chew, and make up the anatomy of your teeth.

Due to things such as tooth decay or injury, the top portion of your tooth, which is its’ chewing surface, or what is the tooth cusp, can break off. If this happens, you have a fractured cusp.

Today I will talk about what you should do if your molar has a fractured cusp, or if you have a fractured cusp but are not feeling any pain.

Lastly, I will also let you know what you should expect to pay for your Dentist to treat a fractured cusp.

So, without delay, let’s begin.

What to Do if Your Molar Has a Fractured Cusp

When you eat, your molars do a lot of the hard work. So, it does not come as a surprise to me that they quite often fracture.

However, you also need to know that, for the same reason, if one of your molars does get a fractured cusp, this injury must be taken seriously.

You need these teeth, as they work hard and do a lot for you. As such, it’s highly important that you take good care of them.

So, here I will cover why molars fracture, symptoms you may feel, and what you should do if this does happen to you.

Fractured cusps commonly occur in your molars. These are the teeth in the back and side of your mouth, that take most of the force when you chew your food.

So, when you eat hard foods, this can cause the cusp on your molars to fracture, and it will then need to be repaired. Grinding your teeth can also cause you to do the same.

It can be hard to recognise the exact time that this occurs, as it does not always cause you pain. I will elaborate on this under the sub-heading “Should You Do Anything if There is a Fractured Cusp and There is No Pain”.

However, if you do feel pain or sensitivity when chewing, eating, or drinking hot or cold foods, you may have a fractured cusp. If so, you should ring your Dentist immediately and make an appointment with them to have it looked at.

As mentioned, a fractured cusp is a serious injury. It can result in further diseases and unbearable pain. As such, most Dentists will take time out for an emergency to treat a fractured cusp.

But understandably, there are cases where either your Dentist may be fully booked out, or you cannot visit them straight away.

In these cases, it is important that you take care of the fractured tooth, as it will be highly sensitive to any exterior items, such as food and drinks.

So, whilst you are waiting for your appointment with your Dentist, there are several things you should do, including:

  • If you are feeling pain, write down where you are noticing the pain is coming from.
  • Do not chew on that side of your mouth. This will prevent the fracture from getting worse.
  • Do not let hot or cold liquids into that part of your mouth.
  • Eat soft foods, no hard foods.
  • Add a little bit of salt to some warm water, and wait for it to dissolve. Then rinse your mouth with this water.
  • Put a piece of paraffin or orthodontic wax over any jagged edge of the fracture.
  • If the fracture has caused your mouth to bleed, gently apply pressure to this area with gauze.
  • Purchase dental cement from a chemist, and use this to cover up and protect what is left of the tooth.
  • If you are in pain, you can use:
    • Over-The-Counter Pain medications – Just be sure to speak to your GP first to ensure they are safe, and avoid aspirin.
    • Floss Between the Tooth that has Fractured.
    • Apply Oil of Cloves (Eugenol) – Available in natural health food stores, this will numb the area that you apply it to.

Feel free to read my post – What to Do When Your Tooth is Fractured, where I elaborate on these tips and how they help when you have a fractured cusp. I also discuss the other types of fractures that you can get in your teeth.

Should You Do Anything if You Have a Fractured Cusp and There is No Pain

Often, a fractured cusp will not cause you to feel any pain at all. This can lead to people failing to treat their fracture.

This is not at all what you should do. If you ignore the fractured cusp and fail to get it treated, it can go deeper. When this happens, the inner structure of your tooth will become damaged, including your dentin and pulp.

This is why it is important to go to your regular dental check-ups, as your Dentist will see if you have fractured your cusp and treat it.

Or, if you think you may have fractured one of your molars, it’s a wise idea to have your Dentist look at it as soon as possible.

If it is sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks, the sooner you can see your Dentist the better.

As mentioned, molars make up a very important part of your dental formation. Having the fracture treated early can mean the difference between you needing a crown, a root canal, or an extraction.

I will discuss how these cusps are best repaired below.

Dentists and Specialists

How Best to Repair a Fractured Cusp

Your Dentist or endodontist (that is a Dentist who specialises in practicing oral surgeries) will decide upon the best treatment for your fractured cusp.

First, they will explore the crack and analyse how severe and deep it is. This is because some fractured cusps can be handled promptly, and you can go home in the wink of an eye. However, other fractured cusps require comprehensive surgery.

Several other factors also come in to play. These include things that a fractured cusp can cause, such as tooth decay and infections.

For example, if the tooth has not yet become infected, a routine dental procedure is a practical option. It is also probably the better option as it will prevent you from further damaging your teeth.

So, the treatment that your Dentist will use will be based on how severe the fracture is. They may suggest a crown if there is no infection.

But if the inside of your tooth has become infected, they may recommend a root canal, as this will get rid of the damaged tissue.

Worst case scenario, they may opt for a tooth extraction. This will only be if the tooth is too far gone, and they cannot rescue it.

This is why it is important when you notice you may have a fractured cusp, to book an appointment with your dentist ASAP.

The earlier the treatment, the easier the treatment.

What Are Fractured Cusp Treatment Costs?

You can use the dental calculator on our website to find your treatment cost.

We have built this tool so you can know what you should expect to pay in your state for your dental treatment.

We update the dental calculator yearly, based on prices we source from our own survey, and an annual survey from the Australian Dental Association.

Dental Aware Cost Calculator Fracture Cusp dental cost

The average dental cost in NSW for a Fractured Cusp. Source – Dental Aware

Through using these surveys, we gather the average fees charged by general and specialist Dentists in each state.

By doing so, we can supply you with a cost that you should expect to pay for your treatment in your state.

Our dental calculator currently has the below prices to see a Dentist for teeth wear on your back teeth (that is, your molars):

  • Western Australia – $292.46
  • Tasmania – $327.84
  • South Australia – $287.18
  • Victoria – $293.98
  • Queensland – $285.92
  • Northern Territory – $309.91
  • New South Wales – $300.92 (with cusp capping).
  • Australian Capital Territory – $343.61

*Please note these prices were correct whilst writing this post, but are subject to change.

So, you can refer to our Dental Calculator to see the current prices for your state.

From the ‘Treatment List’ choose ‘Tooth Wear Back Teeth’, and be sure to select your state.

You can also read my posts below where I discuss what you should pay for each of the different treatments your Dentist may suggest:

Conclusion

It’s important you practice good dental hygiene, and attend your regular dental check-ups.

By doing so, you can make sure your molars will stay healthy and can continue to work hard for you through the years to come.

A fractured cusp is no laughing matter. So if you have pain or a lot of discomfort around your mouth, teeth or gums, the best practice is to visit your friendly denist.

What are your greatest concerns about seeing your dentist?

Dr Veronica Roller

By Dr Veronica Roller

Created at March 10, 2021, Updated at March 10, 2021

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