There is a good chance that you or someone you know has been told they have a cracked tooth. Or you may have felt like you have a cracked tooth. A lot of times cracks start to develop in teeth that have had fillings in them for several decades as the tooth becomes weaker after many years of chewing. Some people grind their teeth and this can cause cracks to develop in teeth as well.
When we perform an exam after your cleaning one thing we are always looking for are cracks in your teeth that might become a problem in the future if not already. At Stewart Family Dentistry, we try to make you aware of these so that you can make an informed decision about how to treat the crack and prevent further problems. The diagram labeled "Cracked Tooth Progression To Split Tooth", gives a good example of what cracks look like and how they progress especially when left untreated.
Lots of times you can crown a tooth to prevent the crack from getting worse. Once the crack extends down into the root of the tooth like in picture C below the tooth will usually start to hurt a lot worse to chewing and will also have to be extracted.
There are usually still options to replace the missing tooth depending on bone levels but a good rule of thumb is it is easier and less expensive to fix the problem when caught early. Hopefully this provides some new information on cracks in teeth and can help you make an informed decision if it happens to you. Be sure to check out our “Restorative Dental Care” page to learn more information about crowns.