An Introduction to Cosmetic Dentistry: Facts, Questions and More

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What Is Cracked Tooth Syndrome?

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You might think that something as significant as a cracked tooth will be easy to diagnose, but this isn't always the case. Cracked tooth syndrome is an incomplete crack, meaning that while the tooth has been compromised, it still remains intact. This might not sound especially serious, but it can warrant a trip to the emergency dentist.

A Dental Emergency

Cracked tooth syndrome can be considered a dental emergency because one of the initial symptoms is, unfortunately, pain. This pain won't be ever-present, and there will be certain triggers. Regrettably, these triggers are almost impossible to avoid since the discomfort will spike when any pressure is applied to the tooth. This means that your cracked tooth syndrome will make itself known each time you eat something, often when you talk, or even when you simply close your mouth. The discomfort will not taper off without help, as cracked tooth syndrome cannot be reversed without dental intervention.

An Uncomfortable Experience

The pain associated with cracked tooth syndrome can compel you to immediately see a dentist, often as soon as these symptoms appear. It's important not to delay. Not only will your discomfort continue, but the flaw in your tooth can worsen, making more extensive intervention necessary. The trouble with cracked tooth syndrome is that the issue can be surprisingly difficult to formally diagnose.

Diagnosing Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked tooth syndrome doesn't present itself as an obvious fracture. The crack can be so fine as to stay hidden during a visual inspection, and it can even be difficult to pinpoint using a diagnostic tool, such as a radiograph. Your dentist may use the process of elimination to diagnose cracked tooth syndrome. If their initial efforts don't arrive at any clear conclusion, there are other methods for diagnosis. Your dentist may assess the periodontal pocket at the base of the tooth, as a sudden deepening of this pocket (when compared to your other teeth) can indicate cracked tooth syndrome. Additionally, the crack can be identified by shining a fibre optic light onto a magnified tooth in order to highlight the suspected damage.

Treating Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Once cracked tooth syndrome has been confirmed, treatment can immediately commence. Your pain will be addressed with medication, and the tooth is generally immobilised with a splint or wraparound binding. This holds the tooth together so the crack can be fixed, which can be as simple as a dental filling. Alternatively, your dentist might take a mold of the tooth, allowing them to fabricate a dental onlay. This a restoration that is customised to fit over the tooth in question, and it will be applied as soon as it's ready.  

The pain of cracked tooth syndrome means you need to see a dentist immediately so that diagnosis and treatment can take place just as quickly. Contact a dentist for more information.