Why Do Teeth Break?

Dr. Lee Ostler
Nov 9, 2016

Here are three things you should know about cracked teeth:

1. A tooth can crack before it breaks.

2. Some cracked teeth hurt, some don’t.

3. Unlike bone, cracked and broken teeth don’t heal.

That’s right! Cracks in teeth can’t and won’t ever heal!

From a dentistry point of view, this is perhaps one of the single biggest things that keep dentists busy – fixing the problems that cracked teeth create. Moving wayyyyy up stream it would be easy to say – “let’s not have tooth decay or fillings so that we will never have a cracked tooth!”

Knowing that in today’s dollars the replacement value of a single tooth sits around $4 – 5,000 plus/minus (represents replacement with dental implant and crown), it makes a lot of sense to not get in the situation where the teeth break in the first place!

But that’s irrelevant for those who are already sitting with a mouth full of fillings, some of which have cracks around them already! So – what to do? Especially if you’re not up for the huge expenses related to tooth replacements?

The good news – there’s usually still time to act. A crown or bonded onlay is usually the restorative treatment for choice. Just like putting a horseshoe on horse’s hoof keeps the hoof from breaking apart, a crown holds the tooth together and allows it to chew again without worry that it will break apart.

If you have old fillings – especially if they are of the silver-amalgam sort – it is advisable to put together a plan to address these issues with us and set up a restorative plan to better protect your teeth and dental health.

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