We routinely manage many cases for cracked teeth. Symptoms range from pain on biting, sensitivity to cold, to throbbing pain. Many cracked teeth are back teeth (molars) which have previously been filled with large amalgam fillings. Amalgam (mercury-filled) filling material is rigid, Inflexible and does not bond to natural tooth structure. Amalgam fillings act like wedges in our teeth when our teeth flex on function, forcing our natural tooth structure apart. Over time, cracks slowly form in natural tooth structure and radiate from the amalgam fillings. They do not heal on their own, and sometimes lead to large chunks of teeth breaking off. People who grind or clench their teeth also experience higher incidences of cracked teeth.
Conventional treatment for a cracked tooth usually involves root canal treatment followed by full crown. We approach cracked teeth with a more conservative management, and avoid root canal treatment if possible. We use adhesive techniques that help to seal cracks, and materials that are able to absorb and distribute biting forces on teeth favourably. The amount of tooth structure removed with such techniques is generally much less than a full crown, and that reduces the need for increasing complex treatment for these teeth in future.
The prognosis of cracked teeth is variable and unpredictable, hence we always start with the most conservative treatment necessary to help save time and cost.