Presented to the Sacramento-Sierra Chapter of the Academy of General Dentistry about “Managing Incomplete Tooth Fractures.”
Cracks are most commonly seen in teeth weakened by large cavities that have been filled with large fillings, this leaves less tooth structure for support. Additionally, the risk of these cracks increases with habits such as clenching and grinding. Cracks can be either symptomatic – most commonly, persistent sensitivity to cold and chewing – or asymptomatic. Early diagnosis is most important to limit the progression of cracks and to prevent complications such as infection of the tooth nerve and the bone supporting the tooth; or the greatest concern which is the splitting of a tooth. Most cracks are treated by covering the chewing surface of teeth to immobilize the cracked segments with Full or Partial Crown restorations. Prevention starts early in life with early detection of cavities thus avoiding excessive loss of tooth structure and protecting teeth from clenching and grinding by wearing night guards. Of course the ultimate prevention is to avoid cavities in the first place.
Samer S. Alassaad, DDS