What are the symptoms of a cracked tooth?
“Cracked teeth” exhibit signature symptoms which can help determine whether the prospects for repair are likely to succeed or not. The strategy in management of cracked teeth can be particular to the dentist, and a one-size-fits-all approach is in our opinion not logical.
For the tooth in question try to answer these questions:
- DOES THE TOOTH HURT ALL THE TIME (need pain medication) or ONLY WHEN I BITE ON IT??
- Is the tooth sensitive to HOT and COLD?
- Can the painful symptoms be reproduced by exposing the tooth to thermal or biting?
The “crack” in the tooth is sometimes visible and at times not visible. The cracked tooth is almost always painful to biting, and the teeth fall into two general categories:
“Stable cracks” are hairline fractures in teeth where there is no visible movement of any pieces of the tooth.
Generally teeth “split” or “crack” along the lines of a cusp, the pointed halves of premolars or quarters of molars.
Often a broken cusp is mobile and held in place loosely by its attachment to the gum tissue. In our office those loose pieces are removed, and the remaining tooth structure is evaluated to potential to repair.
Often Root canal treatment is required if the fracture of the tooth is deep enough to involve the tooth nerve, or if the tooth hurts on its own. Cracked teeth deemed repairable almost always require a protective crown as a permanent protective measure to allow them to stay in function and usable going forward.
Only after the tooth is determined to be non-restorable does the decision to extract a tooth with an unstable fracture become the last and best option.
For questions call C.R. Sfeir DDS at (440) 960-5200 or visit our website!