Dr. Raed Kamal D.M.D

Dental Care For The Whole Family

Winnipeg Family Dentist | Dr. Raed Kamal

Cracked teeth are very common and just about every person will have at least one in their lifetime. Symptoms usually involve pain when biting, like a jolt through the tooth. Over time a cracked tooth will develop hypersensitivity to hot and cold substances.

When you come to us with what you think is a cracked tooth, we will confirm the diagnosis by attempting to reproduce the symptoms. We will have you bite down on a special stick, and if it triggers pain in a specific spot on the tooth, then we will have found the source of the problem. Sometimes these cracks are actually visible with a bit of staining, as demonstrated in the photo to the right.

Other times a crack might be internal and not immediately visible. In the second photo on the right, this patient had a post in his tooth and a crown over top. The tooth cracked, triggering various symptoms, but the problem was only clearly evident when the post and crown were removed.

Winnipeg Dentists
Winnipeg Dentists

Leaving Cracked Teeth Alone

When left untreated, cracked teeth will often break. In most cases these teeth can still be fixed. Teeth with large restorations are most susceptible to this problem, as witnessed in the following photos.

In some cases a patient is not as fortunate, and prolonged stress to the tooth causes the nerve to die and an abscess to form. At this stage the tooth requires root canal treatment, in addition to a full coverage restoration. In other cases the tooth can break right down the middle, rendering it impossible to fix.

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Fixing Cracked Teeth

The most reliable method for restoring a cracked tooth is with a full coverage restoration, such as a crown. A crown will cover the tooth, and hold it together. In most cases a crack is filled during the crown preparation process. In other cases, the crown will simply hold the tooth together, and prevent the crack from flexing.

Due to the complex nature of cracked teeth, and possible damage to the nerve of the tooth, treatment at our office will often vary from standard full coverage restoration (crown). This variation involves leaving a temporary crown on the tooth for 1-2 months rather than the normal 1-2 weeks. This variation also allows for removal of the crack and prolonged evaluation of the health of the nerve to determine whether root canal treatment will also be required.

On some occasions a patient will request to just have a tooth filled, which sometimes can work, for a time. In a case such as this one, however, a filling was attempted because of financial constraint. Unfortunately, the crack in this patient’s tooth ran vertically through the tooth, and could not entirely be removed. The hope was that the bonded filling would provide enough strength to hold the tooth together. See the results for yourself.

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Conclusion

If you think you might have a cracked tooth, contact us to have it checked right away. If it is a cracked tooth, you should make plans for treatment/restoration as soon as possible.

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