Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to commonly asked dental questions and concerns that Dr. Lee has seen over the years. Don’t see an answer to a question you have? Feel free to reach out to our office to schedule a consult with Dr. Lee by calling 978-232-9003!
Table of Contents
More to be added soon!
Q. What is a cracked tooth?
A. Our teeth take on a lot of pressure when we enjoy our favorite meals. While we eat, we have the tendency to bite and chew in all sorts of ways, so oftentimes we end up applying force in all sorts of different directions on our teeth. This includes unfavorable pressure to the outermost layer of our teeth enamel, that may cause breaks and leave fracture lines on the surface of our teeth. The existing strong fillings on the inside of our teeth can also act as a wedge and break the surrounding tooth structure over a long period of time.
Q. I see some vertical lines on my front teeth when I look in the mirror. What are those? Do I need to do anything with them?
A. These lines are called “craze” lines and they are usually shallower, smaller breaks compared to crack lines. Craze lines don’t need any treatment but cracks do.
Q. Why do I need to treat cracks in a tooth?
A. If left untreated, cracks in a tooth can get worse, and thereby extend deeper and deeper into the affected tooth, which can break the cusp of the tooth. It can even go as far as to fracture the root of the tooth, of which the only solution is to remove it. Although 99% of the time cracked teeth don’t bother or hurt people, surface cracks can allow for leaking around existing fillings, which can result in cavities and infection without us noticing it.
Q. How can we treat cracked teeth before they break down much worse?
A. The first step is to remove existing fillings, cracks, and decay underneath the tooth if any. Depending on the quantity and quality of the remaining tooth structure, your dentist may suggest a partial coverage restoration (called an onlay) or a full coverage crown to prevent the tooth from splitting further under pressure.