Send to

Choose Destination
Refuat Hapeh Vehashinayim (1993). 2007 Apr;24(2):7-12, 68.

Cracked and broken teeth--definitions, differential diagnosis and treatment.

Author information

Dept. of Endodontology, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


Cracked and broken teeth present a diagnostic dilemma to the dentist and the sooner a correct diagnosis is made the greater are the chances to save the tooth. As the location, direction and size of the crack or fracture dictates the choice of treatment, it is important to first define the types of cracks and fractures in the coronal and radicular tooth structure. Cracks and fractures can be classified as follows: 1. craze lines 2. fractured cusps 3. cracked teeth 4. split teeth 5. vertical root fractures. The vertical root fracture has been described recently in two articles in this publication, and therefore will not be discussed here. Diagnosis of a cracked tooth is not always initially obvious. The patient's response to clinical testing is the primary diagnostic tool along with the dental history provided by the patient. Radiographs are secondary in making a diagnosis. Clinical aids for reproducing the patient's symptoms such as occlusal bite devices, observing occlusal wear facets and the application of cold water to one tooth at a time may isolate the offending tooth. In situations where an irreversible pulpitis is diagnosed, endodontic treatment is indicated. In the case of a questionable diagnosis, or one in which a potential reversible pulpitis is made, a provisional restoration can be placed for an unspecified time as a diagnostic aid. If endodontic therapy were indicated, consultation with the patient as to the compromised prognosis and the alternatives to endodontic treatment is essential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center