Playing Hide and Seek with Cracked Teeth

Playing Hide and Seek with Cracked Teeth
July 10, 2018 Adam Harwood

Cracked teeth are a common problem, which left untreated, lead to larger dental health issues. Interestingly enough, cracked teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss. Only dental caries and periodontal disease are more common. Unfortunately, identifying tooth cracks can be a challenge for the average patient, so many cases end up going untreated.

The biggest challenge in diagnosing cracked teeth is finding unseen, hidden cracks. Hidden cracks are often found on excessively tapered or stripped root surfaces, beneath old fillings or beneath crowns. By the time a cracked tooth becomes visible, it has generally gone through the stages of initiation, propagation, and manifestation.

What’s more challenging, these hidden cracks can remain undetected, even during various other dental exams and procedures.

A study done in 2013 by the National Dental Practice-based Research Network showed some astonishing statistics after evaluating 14,346 molars from 1,962 patients:

  • 66.1% of patients examined had at least one cracked molar
  • 46.2% of patients had more than one cracked molar
  • 31.4% of patients examined had molars containing at least one crack
  • 1% of patients had a symptomatic cracked molar

It is important to seek a professional if you think you have a cracked tooth. After identifying your cracked tooth, your endodontist can then decide the best course of treatment. Dental bonding, veneers, crowns, root canal or dental implants are all options for the next course of action. No matter what, you’re in good hands with your trusted endodontist!