Many teeth have crack lines that you can see on the enamel surfaces. Some
of these cracked teeth are stained and painful when chewing, while others
are not. In our dental practice, we see the cracks occur more often in
the adults' teeth than in the youngsters'.
Many teeth with cracks do not have any symptom because the cracks are running
superficially (running on the outer layer of the tooth). Occasionally,
when the crack runs deeper into the pulpal area, the tooth is sensitive
to changes in temperature and in chewing.
Because dental x-rays cannot reveal about extent of the crack, the diagnosis,
management, and prognosis for tooth in question is mainly based on the
clinical observations. Our Houston dentist recommends that if the crack
is symptomatic or is located next to an old restoration such as an amalgam
filling, the tooth should be restored with either a porcelain onlay or
a crown. If the cracks are on the front teeth, porcelain veneers are recommended.
The types of restoration can protect the cracked tooth from a sudden breakage.
Our Houston dentist recommends "a close watch" for those cracks
that are asymptomatic or are located on a never-been-restored teeth. The
location and the extent of the cracks should be recorded and checked every
6 months. If any of these cracks becomes longer, darker, and deeper or
if the tooth begins to feel sensitive, it should be immediately restored
with onlay, crown, or veneer.