A patient came in complaining that she had sensitivity to biting and cold in one of her teeth. Sometimes when she bites, she gets a feeling of an electric shock in her tooth.
This electric shock is a classic symptom of a cracked tooth. It is similar to a green stick fracture of a bone. Cracked teeth are compromised and are not able to support forces of biting. This sensation occurs when the two halves of the tooth shift under function.
The cracks in these teeth can be in any part of the tooth. If lucky the defect doesn’t include the pulp or nerve of the tooth. If the pulp is involved, depending on the severity of involvement, the tooth may be saved with root canal therapy or may be hopeless and require extraction.
It is unhealthy to ignore cracked teeth. Bacteria can seep through the microscopic crack and contaminate the pulp. The result is an infection leading to an abscess. Cracks left untreated will progress and eventually cause irreparably damaged to the tooth.
The only way to keep a crack from advancing further is to place a crown on the tooth. A crown is a restoration that covers and goes around the tooth circumferentially to hold it together.
There are no guarantees when treating cracked teeth. You may, even though you have gone through all the treatment steps, may still loose the tooth. That is why treatment should be rendered as soon as possible.
Dr. Mitchel Senft is a member of the Florida Dental Society of Anesthesiology. He has been treating patients with the aid of sedation since 1984. He is also a Diplomate with the Congress of Oral Implantologists. If you would like more information on the topics discussed and how they might pertain to your dental needs, you may visit Dr. Senft on the web, www.southfloridasedationdentistry.com, or call the office, (561) 967-2001, for a complimentary consultation.
South Florida Sedation Dentistry
6633 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach