Dr Darryl Marsh writes… In this blog entry we talk about broken and cracked teeth and how they are hard to catch early.
Through advances in knowledge and technology the dentist of the 21st century is better placed than ever before to be able to detect many types of tooth problems at their earliest – before they hurt and before the tooth has to be extracted.
Unfortunately this is not the case with the cracking of teeth. In our practice, cracking of teeth is a frustrating cause of tooth loss. The reason it is such a problem is that most tooth cracks commonly start under old silver mercury fillings, making them difficult to see.
The cracks in a tooth can take months or even years to progress and are too fine to show on X-Rays. And because the metal fillings block out X-Rays it is not until the bacteria that enters through the cracks and eat away enough of the tooth, that the cavity from the crack becomes apparent.
In most cases, the tooth is not painful until the cavity gets deep or the crack extends close to the nerve (even the one in the middle of the tooth). Often by this time the damage is so extensive the tooth will need to be extracted. These cracked teeth are difficult to extract and often the bone around the tooth needs to be cut away to allow the fractured pieces to be removed one at a time.
That is why at the first evidence of a crack being present, many dental authorities think it is wise to remove the old filling in the tooth to see whether there is a crack visible underneath.
In the vast majority of cases if a crack is present it will be visible when viewed with a special light a long time before it becomes sensitive. Once the position and extent of the cracking is determined then a crown is necessary to stabilise the crack in the tooth.
If the nerve is involved then Root Canal Treatment will be required as well. These treatments can be complex and may cost thousands of dollars to complete, so for many people these treatments may not be an option.
That is why treating cracks in teeth at the earliest possible time, before they are painful, is the often the best approach. So if you think your have a broken or cracked tooth, then please talk to your dentist.
At Today’s Dentistry we will never push children or hold them down to complete treatment.
If a child is too scared and we think we will not be able to do the best possible treatment for them because of this then we will always refer to our great network of specialist paediatric dentists. It is better for the child to have a positive experience at Today’s Dentistry and then be happy to return for check and cleans in the future.
So many dental phobias in adult patients were a result of those adults being treated badly or bad dental experiences when they were a child. This is what we are ultimately aiming to avoid completely with our child patients of today.
Children are smart and very aware of what is going on around them so we need to anticipate that in order to make them feel comfortable before they get a chance to get scared, involve them and let them know that they are an important part of the process.
It can be confusing to get your head around how you can best pay for your dental treatment, or which payment plan or option is best for your circumstances. We can help so give us a call on (07) 3263 2677 or Contact us.
We are never too busy to talk to you about any of our payment methods, payment plans, or any dental treatments that you may have questions about.