Cracked Teeth Hamilton MT
Unfortunately this is a condition that we see way too often. It is usually the result of a weakened tooth that has a very large filling. It is most often found in adults on lower molars and upper premolars (bicuspids). Occasionally we will see it in teeth that look perfectly fine. It is extremely common to find severe fractures in teeth that have previously been treated with root canal therapy (root canal). For that reason, most teeth that have had root canals require crowns as a preventive measure.
Many times the symptoms are described by the patient who complains that it feels like a “lightning bolt” went through the tooth when biting down just right. Occasionally they will complain of the tooth also being sensitive to cold, otherwise it doesn’t usually hurt. The most severe fractures can cause spontaneous pain.
The cracked tooth syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because the cracks are usually microscopic and cannot be detected on x-rays. We don’t get too excited when we see surface fractures of the enamel on asymptomatic teeth. They don’t always penetrate deep. The symptoms described by the patient are usually the tell-tale sign of a deeper fracture. Once the diagnosis has been made properly, the treatment sequence is easy but not always predictable.
First we prepare the tooth for a crown and hope that the biting symptoms disappear while you are wearing a temporary crown. If this helps, placement of the permanent crown is all that is required. The vast majority of cases are treated successfully with crown coverage.
If symptoms persist, endodontic therapy may be necessary. Detailed information can be found about this in the Root Canal Therapysection of the web site.
Last resort is removal of the offending tooth. After extraction, the tooth can be replaced with either a fixed bridge, removable partial, or implant.
Call us at 406-375-1192 for a consultation.