A cracked tooth is only an emergency if it hurts. However, having a crack in a tooth is always an urgent situation. If the tooth has a very superficial crack called craze line, then generally we don’t do anything. We will just monitor it, but if the crack is evident and you can actually see it, then that tooth needs to be capped or crowned. What that is, is it’s a piece of porcelain like a new enamel that covers the entire tooth, so that if you’re chewing on one side of the crack or the other one, you’re not going to break the tooth.
Once in a while there’s a condition called cracked tooth syndrome, and that is when the crack is actually much deeper than what we can see. So even though you put the crown on top of it, if the patient bites a certain way, it still hurts. Then that tooth would, let’s just say, need a root canal after the crown is placed. So basically what you do, you put the crown first, you make sure the tooth is comfortable. If everything is okay, you are done. If it still hurts, then you do the root canal, and the last resort, rarely, but last resort for the cracked tooth would be to take it out and place an implant.