Dental Health Expert Forum
Cracked tooth not visible
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Cracked tooth not visible

Dentist says we can't see crack with X-ray or eye but it is there he wants to put a crown on that tooth it is sensitive to cold drinks and biting started 4 days ago could this go away what should I do ...thank you
540545_tn?1377626518
Hi.

Yes, cracked teeth are one of the worse to treat.  Because we can't see cracks most of the time (its pretty rare to see one on an x-ray), we don't know exactly how far the crack can go.  Because of that, a wide range of treatments may be needed and its frustrating for both the patient and doctor because we can't reliably predict exactly what needs to be done.

If the crack isn't too deep, a crown will most likely fix the problem.  The dentist won't know how deep the crack is until he starts the procedure, and even then, its possible the crack can be so thin (we're talking like hair thin), we may miss removing all of it.  If the crown doesn't fix it, it may need a root canal.  Its also possible if the crack extends too far down below the gum and into the jaw bone that the tooth may need to be removed.

So ya, it can be a best case/worse case scenario with no real reliable prediction.  Sorry we can't be more precise but its a limitation of our ability to see much on an x-ray or on the outer surface of your tooth.  We could give you a better idea once we start removing the damage part of the tooth and investigate the depth of the crack but again, because the crack can be so thin, we may not remove it entirely.  

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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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