Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Teeth may crack when subjected to stress of chewing hard foods or ice, or by biting on an unexpected hard object. Teeth with or without restorations may exhibit this problem, but teeth restored with typical silver alloy restorations are most susceptible. Also, clenching or grinding of the teeth, which is quite common, can increase the chances of a tooth cracking.
Symptoms and signs are some or all of the following:
- Pain on chewing.
- Pain on cold air application.
- Unsolicited pain (usually leakage of sugar into tooth crack)
- No radiographic evidence of a problem.
- No dental decay present.
Easy verification of crack when tooth is prepared for a restoration.
Treatment for a cracked tooth:
Simple crack: The majority of cracked teeth (about 90%) can be treated by placement of a simple crown (cap) on the tooth. When the tooth is prepared for the crown and a temporary restoration is placed, the pain usually leaves immediately. If this is the case with your tooth, we will place the final crown without a problem on your next appointment and the condition should be solved. Cracked teeth, even with crowns placed, are often more sensitive at first, but usually improve over time.
Complex crack: Occasionally (about 10%) the tooth cracks into the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. If the pain persists after placement of the temporary restoration, you may have a crack into the pulp of the affected tooth. Please call us. This tooth may require root canal therapy before the crown is placed.
This may require an additional appointment before the crown is placed. If treatment is not done the crack may deepen until a root canal is necessary or possibly an extraction if the crack extends between the roots.