Cracked Tooth “Syndrome”
You may have a very commonly occurring problem in one of your teeth. Teeth may crack when subjected to stress, chewing hard foods, ice, or biting on an unexpected hard object. Teeth with or without restorations may exhibit this problem, but teeth restored with a typical silver alloy (filling) restoration are the more susceptible. When fillings become “too large” crowns are recommended to reduce the risk of fracture.
Typical Signs and Symptoms of Cracked Tooth “Syndrome”
- Pain on chewing
- Pain may be difficult to isolate to a particular tooth
- Pain on cold air application
- Unsolicited pain
- Usually no radiographic evidence of the problem
- No dental decay may be present
- May or may not “see” crack when the tooth is prepared for a restoration.
Treatment for cracked teeth
Simple Crack. Most cracked teeth (90%) can be treated by the placement of a simple crown. When the tooth is prepared for the crown and a temporary crown placed, the pain “usually” leaves. If this is the case with your tooth, we will place the final crown on your next appointment.
Complex Crack. This is where the term “syndrome” evolves. A “syndrome” can be at times, difficult to treat with variable results. In these complex cracks, the defect can extend down into the nerve to the outer surface of the root. This type of complex crack is seen about 10% of the time. If the pain persists after the temporary crown placement, the crack most likely has progressed to the nerve and a root canal is indicated. Occasionally, the crack may spread and proceed to the outer surface of the root and the tooth needs to be extracted. This scenario is uncommon but possible. If this does occur an Implant, fixed bridge, or a partial can restore the area. Leaving your tooth untreated increases the risk for the crack to worsen and become non-treatable.
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