Teeth chip and break off for a number of reasons. They mostly fracture due to stresses that go beyond what they are able to withstand. Old silver mercury fillings (amalgams) actually weaken teeth by creating micro fractures called craze lines. They are created by the expansion and contraction of the mercury in the amalgam which can be seen in thermometers. Over the years these stresses compound and can significantally reduce the strength of back teeth (molars). We frequently observe deep fracture lines that can crack a tooth and even split it in two. Cracked tooth syndrome develops when the teeth break down into the bone. When this happens the two sections rub against each other and where the nerves are located which gives a very sharp pain when chewing. It can be diagnosed by placing pressure on different areas of the tooth. If there are varing degrees of pain present when pressing on different areas of the tooth then cracked tooth syndrome is probably the diagnosis. These aren’t always seen on an x-ray. The treatments for this type of tooth pain can include a root canal, core and porcelain crown. Occasionally the tooth pain can be treated with a porcelain cap only. The crown holds the movable segments together to unify the tooth into a solid unit.

To a lesser degree of tooth chipping or fracture is when a portion of the tooth breaks off without going deep into the root or bone. The silver filling usually creates the initial crack, but the crack extends where it only breaks off a portion of the enamel. This tooth chip is more predictable in its treatment. These types of cracks are usually not sensitive or painful to biting but can be sensitive or painful to hot, cold or sweets.

Their treatments include a bonded tooth composite filling, porcelain inlay or a porcelain crown. These are all used to replace the missing piece.

Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home. His motto is to “relax while we take care of your smile”. He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 21 years and is located in Shelby Township, Macomb county Michigan. For more information visit our website at www.thegentledenstist.com