The truth, however, is that dentistry has moved on in great strides from the days when the vast bulk of treatments were as basic as this, with problems from grey teeth to bleeding gums being diagnosed and treated quickly and easily, and cosmetic treatments able to deal with issues such as crooked or overcrowded teeth. If you require teeth straightening at Perfect Smile your treatment may involve wearing a brace or using retainers such as those employed in the Invisalign system, but the advantage of attending a clinic which works at the cutting edge of treatment is that you’ll also have less visible and obvious problems diagnosed and treated.
One of the problems of this type, which may be harder for the ordinary person to spot and diagnose, is cracked tooth syndrome. The thought of a crack in a tooth may seem fairly clear cut and easily noticed, but a syndrome of this kind is dealing with cracks which are so small that they can’t even be picked up by an x-ray. One of the problems of miniscule fractures of this kind is that they are often hidden below the line of the gums, thus being even more difficult to spot, which merely underlines the necessity of attending your clinic and working with your dentist on a regular basis. Cracked tooth syndrome usually affects the molars, the larger flat teeth which take the brunt of the pressure when you’re chewing food, and people who have a tendency to grind their teeth will also be more prone to the problem, due to the constant pressure which is being applied. If a tooth has had extensive root canal treatment it may have been weakened and will therefore be more likely to crack, as will a tooth which has undergone a larger filling.
The symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome can be inconsistent, coming and going and taking effect when you eat particular foods or employ a specific chewing action. Unlike a decaying or infected tooth, a cracked tooth will not hurt or ache consistently, but, if left untreated and allowed to get bigger, the crack may lead to the whole tooth actually falling out altogether. As a condition, it can be trickier to diagnose than some others because of the way in which the symptoms manifest themselves.
When asked to diagnose a possible cracked tooth, your dentist will first undertake an in depth examination of the whole mouth and the individual tooth particularly. They will pay particular attention to the gums and will use a pointed tool called an explorer to probe for any cracks and fissures. Other techniques employed by dentists looking for cracked tooth syndrome include the application of a dye to uncover any cracks or the use of a fibre-optic light. In another test, a special instrument which resembles a tooth brush without bristles may be placed over different parts of the tooth as you bite down. If you experience pain when biting in this manner, then it’s probable that the tooth being tested does in fact have a crack.
Once the presence of a cracked tooth has been confirmed, the exact treatment offered will vary, often depending upon the position and size of the crack in question. The term ‘crack’ is fairly wide ranging and can cover a tiny fracture in the outer layer on the enamel, or something much deeper and more fundamental which runs through the nerves and soft tissue contained within the pulp inside the tooth. In the case of more superficial cracking, the treatment will usually consist of a crown being fitted over the tooth, but in approximately 20% of cases of cracked tooth syndrome, the problem is so extensive that root canal treatment is required. Following root canal treatment for a cracked tooth, you may still feel some pain occasionally when biting down, but will no longer be overly sensitive to heat or cold. In the very worst cases, when a crack runs particularly deep, your dentist may have no option other than to extract the tooth and replace it with a bridge or implant.