Perhaps you’ve been to the dentist recently for your routine dental checkup and were surprised to be diagnosed with Cracked Tooth Syndrome. Many patients are unaware they may suffer from this common dental problem, since some patients do not exhibit any clear symptoms. Teeth may crack when subjected to the stress of chewing hard foods or ice, or by biting on an unexpected hard object. Teeth with or without restorations may exhibit this problem. We find teeth restored with typical amalgam (silver) restorations are most susceptible, but any tooth can crack for multiple reasons. Symptoms and signs are some, or all of the following:
1. Pain when chewing
2. Pain when drinking cold liquids or cold air application
3. Unsolicited pain (usually leakage of sugar into the crack in the tooth)
4. No pain at all
5. No radiographic evidence of problem
6. No dental decay present
7. Easy verification of crack when tooth is prepared for restoration.
Cracked teeth are categorized as either simple, or complex. A tooth with a simple crack (about 8 out of 10) can usually be restored by placing a crown over the prepared tooth. Pain or sensitivity usually subsides once the crown is placed. A tooth with a complex crack requires additional treatment. Usually a complex crack is when the crack enters the pulp or nerve of the tooth. When this happens, a root canal is required to remove the nerve of the tooth, followed by placement of a crown. In some cases, if a crack is too severe, the tooth may need to be removed. Please be sure to see Dr. Kim and your dental hygienist regularly. Your oral health is our priority!