Cracked teeth are actually quite a common occurrence. Many times, we will recommend treating a cracked tooth with a crown, but not every kind of crack requires a crown to protect your tooth from further damage. Our purpose in this article is to inform you when a cracked tooth will require a crown and when it will not.
What Characteristics of Cracks Indicate the Need for a Crown?
In all honesty, when magnifying images of most anyone's teeth, we often see cracks due to normal wear and tear like biting forces, and sometimes due to teeth grinding. Many of these cracks simply don't need a crown, but there are also certain characteristics that will prompt us to recommend one.
One of these characteristics is when darkness has seeped into the crack and the adjacent tooth structure. We can see this due to the way decayed tooth structure absorbs the bright illumination we use in our oral exams. This makes decayed areas appear darker than healthy tooth structure. When we see this, we will most often recommend either a partial or full crown.
Severe pain upon biting and letting go of a bite is also another strong indicator to us that a crown is necessary to preserve the tooth. Typically, this means that the crack extends into the dentin of your tooth structure, which contains nerve fibers. In this case, a crown will often hold the segments of your tooth together and prevent the sharp pains. However, there are also times when even a crown won't stop the sensitivity and we may recommend a root canal.
Therefore, it follows that if no pain exists when you bite and there is no decay around the crack, then there is a good possibility we won't recommend a crown.
Even if a magnified image shows there is a crack, we will always choose the most conservative, but most effective, treatment. If you have concerns about a cracked tooth, we would value your trust. Please feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation.