Crack Tooth Syndrome: Crown as a Treatment

We talked about Crack Tooth Syndrome in the previous post.  Now we can talk about the type of treatment for the crack tooth syndrome.

The crack tooth syndrome begins with a tooth having the signs and symptoms of a crack tooth.  It can either be visually obvious or it requires xray image to determine the presence of a crack line.  The type of treatment depends on the location of the existing crack or defect and the patient’s symptoms.

The location of the existing crack or defect plays an important role in determining the type of treatment for crack tooth.  If the defect is away from the central nervous tissue within the tooth and the patient does not have any painful symptoms, a crown can often be the definitive treatment for treating the crack tooth and to restore the tooth back to its functional state.  I will illustrate this concept with a recent patient case.

This patient had an existing large amalgam filling done more than 10 years ago and now he bites into something hard and the filling cracked off.

Tooth with Large Filling

Tooth with a Large Dental Filling


Crack Tooth with No Nerve Exposure

Crack Tooth with No Nerve Exposure

Upon examination, patient does not have any unusualy painful symptoms.  The defect seems large so we have to take an xray image to determine if the nerve is involved.  The xray image reveals that there is a good distance (approximately more than 1 mm) between the defect and the central nerve pulp.  Since it doesn’t seem that the central nerve pulp is affected, the tooth does not need the root canal therapy.  The defect is large so the treatment of crown was offered to patient to restore the tooth.  Also the crown would help strengthen the tooth so to prevent the tooth from further fracture.

Even though the tooth seems to be infection free and patient does not have any symptoms, the tooth might become symptomatic if there are some unforeseen microscopic crack exists within the tooth which may lead to future infection.  This is the risk that associated with crack tooth.  Patient was warned of the need of additional root canal therapy if the tooth develops unforeseen infection problem after the treatment of crown is rendered.  The patient accepts the risk and agrees to proceed with the treatment of crown.

This is now the tooth looks like after the crown is put on.

Crown Fixing Crack Tooth

The patient is comfortable after the crown and to this date, the tooth is trouble free.


Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Genral Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona. Practicing General Dentist