Cracked Tooth Syndrome • Silverdale, WA

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

If you have a cracked tooth, you have a very commonly occuring problem in one of your teeth.

A cracked tooth can be a very painful experience. Cracks develop over a lifetime of heavy use and especially when teeth are subjected to the stress of chewing hard foods, ice, or biting on unexpected hard objects. The most susceptible teeth are molars and bicuspids subject to heavy wear that have large fillings. People who clench their teeth excessively can crack unfilled and otherwise perfect teeth. Painful incomplete cracks are sometimes difficult to diagnose. Once a section of tooth breaks off (complete crack), pain usually subsides and the diagnosis is obvious.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pain while chewing.
  • Pain when cold.
  • Pain when hot.
  • Pain while eating sweets.
  • Spontaneous, unsolicted pain.
  • No apparent decay present.
  • No apparent x-ray evidence present.
  • Crack usually verified visually when tooth is prepared for restoration.

Treatment of Cracked Teeth:

Simple Crack:
The majority of cracked teeth (about 9 out of 10) can be treated by placement of a crown (cap) on the tooth. When the tooth is prepared for the crown, and a temporary crown is cemented, the pain is usually eliminated. If you experience no significant pain while wearing the temporary, your permanent crown will likely be successful.

Complex Crack:
Occasionally (about 1 in 10) root canal therapy is required as well as a crown because of the complex nature of the crack into the nerve. If pain persists after placement of the temporary crown, you may have a crack requiring a rooth canal before the permanent crown is cemented. Root canal therapy usually requires one or two additional appointments.

Vertical Root Cracks:
Some complex cracks are vertical, down tooth roots into the bone. These cracks are not restorable and require extraction of the affected root or the entire tooth. Unfortunately, vertical root cracks are difficult to diagnose.

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