Why Early Diagnosis is Critical

Cracked Teeth

November 15, 2022

What is a cracked tooth and why does it happen?

A cracked tooth is simply a tooth that has developed a crack somewhere on the tooth structure. A cracked tooth differs from a fractured tooth because there is not missing tooth structure that might make it very obvious that there is an issue. While our teeth all have natural grooves that are considered the normal anatomy of a tooth, these cracks form independently of grooves, and are very often on areas of a tooth that do not have such anatomy. Cracks on teeth can be caused by a myriad of reasons. More than one factor can be at play at the same time for a patient. Conditions that cause a cracked tooth include: teeth grinding (bruxism); large fillings that weaken the integrity of the tooth around it; habitual behaviors such as nail biting or ice chewing; accidents or sports injuries; age related degradation of tooth structure.

What are the consequences of a cracked tooth?

A cracked tooth can be a very painful situation for a patient. One might imagine that symptoms present the moment a crack begins to form. This is not the case. Often times, cracks are present well before the pain arrives. Many times cracks in teeth are ignored or overlooked by dentists because the patient is asymptomatic. At Gainesville Dentistry Co., we understand the consequences of allowing a crack in a tooth to propagate further, leading to more involved treatment. A crack can result in a fractured tooth, the need for a root canal, or even the need for an extraction. Dr. Feldman has trained extensively in restorative dentistry. Some of his training has been specific to cracked tooth syndrome and assessing the relative risk of tooth cracks based on location, marginal integrity of the filling nearby, shadowing/staining within the crack, etc. Not all cracked teeth are created equally. We will assess any cracked teeth we observe and communicate our findings clearly, providing all of your options for treating, or not treating, the tooth. As you can see from the photo, asymptomatic cracks with little sign of issue can become catastrophic tooth failures very quickly.

What do we do at Gainesville Dentistry Co. to let you keep more teeth and more of your money?!

We have invested in the highest quality intraoral camera on the market, the Digital Doc IRIS X80. This liquid lens auto-focusing intraoral camera provides us with the best visualization of any issues related to your teeth. In addition, we took the next step and added the LUM Transillumination attachment to our camera. When this is attached, we are able to diagnose cracks that would otherwise go unseen. As you can see from the black and white photo, a crack down the center of that tooth has actually caused the light to stop passing through. This indicates a depth of the crack, making this tooth much more prone to a major fracture. The treatment of choice for a tooth like this is full crown coverage. While this, of course, comes with a fee associated with it, not treating this tooth in a timely manner will lead to it needing a root canal prior to the crown or even needing to be extracted. The extraction and the dental implant to follow would be much more costly and time consuming in the long run.

Schedule your comprehensive examination to make sure you don't have any cracked teeth!

Whether it is an emergency situation where a particular tooth is causing pain or you are wanting to make sure your teeth are healthy and strong, we are here for you! As you have seen in this post, waiting until symptoms arise is a dangerous game to play. If you are new to the area or simply want to experience a different level of comprehensive dentistry, Gainesville Dentistry Co. hopes to become your dental home. Give us a call at (352) 887-6453 or schedule your appointment online! You can visit our website at www.gainesvilledentistryco.com to learn more about our office and team. Come see if we are all that we're cracked up to be!

About The Author

Dr. Greg Feldman has completed over 1500 hours of continuing education following his graduation from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. To put this into perspective, dentists are only required to take 30 hours of continuing education every two years. This means that Dr. Feldman has already taken 100 years of dental education in his relatively young career. He is an avid learner and a lifelong student of dentistry. As a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry and a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Dr. Feldman has achieved a level of recognition in the field of dentistry that few have ever reached. With this in mind, you can rest assured that anything he writes about on this blog is well researched and backed by scientific evidence and his extensive training.

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