Cracked Teeth

Cracked tooth with filling

Hairline cracks in teeth can be very tricky to manage.  It is often impossible to know for certain the size and extent of the crack, and they are impossible to see. Diagnosis is often based on symptoms .

Cracks in teeth usually develop due to trauma or weakness from large fillings.  People who have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth may be particularly prone to this problem. 

Common symptoms are pain on biting hard foods, eg a seed or grain on a particular place and sensitivity to hot or cold.

Assessing the direction and extent of the crack can be very difficult.  The deeper the crack towards or into the nerve and root, the more complex and less successful the treatment.

Teeth that have cracked all the way through the middle are generally not restorable and would need to be extracted.

For more information, the following web site is very informative.  Enter cracked teeth into the search box, and select the paper entitled Cracked Teeth.

American Association of Endodontists