It is common for dentists to observe cracks in teeth, however it is difficult to reliably estimate the severity of the crack. Which may distinguish a crack from a craze, a surface crack in the enamel only. There are no clinically available tools to diagnose internal cracks, which are cracks within the dentin that are unobservable from the external surface. Therefore, it would be helpful to determine whether there is an association between observable characteristics of the patient, tooth, and external crack and the presence of internal tooth cracks.
Almost 9 out of 10 teeth with at least 1 visible external crack also had at least 1 internal crack, and these internal cracks were only discoverable when preparing the tooth for treatment. That is because the teeth were being treated due to caries or pain symptoms. The study concludes that internal cracks are associated with external cracks in which the patient experiences biting pain, connected with a restoration, and extends onto the root of the tooth.
J.L. Ferracane, E. Funkhouser, T.J. Hilton, V.V. Gordan, C.L. Graves, K.A. Giese, W. Shea, D. Pihlstrom, G.H. Gilbert; National Dental Practice-Based Research Network Collaborative Group. Obvservable characteristics coincident with internal cracks in teeth. JADA 2018: 149(10): 885-892.
Brian Y. Kuo DDS FAGD
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