If you have a cracked tooth, you have one of the most common problems that can occur in your mouth.
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, because they are subject to heavy wear and have large fillings. People who clench their teeth excessively can crack unfilled and otherwise perfect teeth. Painful, incomplete cracks are sometimes difficult to diagnose, but 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, unsolicited pain
No apparent decay present
No apparent x-ray evidence present
Crack usually verified visually when the tooth is prepared for restoration
Treatment of Cracked Teeth:
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.
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 root 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 and travel 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.
As of May 19th we are open for full-service, non-urgent dental treatment.
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
You will be notified via text, email or a phone call in regard to your upcoming visit and our new check-in procedures.
Our office will communicate with you to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office. We will also take your forehead temperature when you arrive at our office.
We ask that you please wear a mask covering your nose and mouth when you arrive.
We want to minimize the number of patients in our waiting room and operatories, so unless necessary, please have accompanying people wait in the car during your appointment.
We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (360)692-9560.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Dr. Jason Niemeyer, Dr. Jeffrey Phillips and the rest of the SDC team