Cracked Tooth Syndrome (CTS): Postoperative Instructions
Your tooth has been diagnosed with “cracked tooth syndrome.” Because of the nature of the clinical appearance of the fracture, we have attempted to lessen the symptoms by adjusting your occlusion (bite) on the tooth. This may be the only treatment you will need. If the discomfort you feel when you bite is not eliminated within one week, please call our office and let us know. If the split is still present, a different approach must be tried. Give the tooth a few days to “calm down” before you try to bite down on hard foods.
The split tooth has been treated by removing the old restoration and placing a bonded filling in its place. If the split is small, this may eliminate the problem. Do not bite down hard on the tooth for a few days, then gradually place more pressure on the tooth. Call our office in one week and let us know how it feels. If the split is still causing a problem, a different approach must be tried. If left untreated, the tooth may split further and you may need endodontic treatment and a crown. If the tooth splits severely, it may have to be extracted.
A temporary crown has been cemented onto the cracked tooth with a temporary cement. Because the crack was so severe, we will use this procedure to determine whether or not the tooth can be treated without performing a root canal. Please give the tooth several days of rest before you try biting down on hard foods. Expect the tooth to be sensitive for a few days after the temporary is placed. This is normal. Gradually apply more force when you bite into foods, and gradually try to eat harder foods. Expect the temporary crown to remain in place for several weeks, until it can be determined whether or not the problem is solved.
The earlier a split tooth is diagnosed and treated, the better success there is in treating it. If the split is severe, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth. Depending on the symptoms you describe, we may choose to treat it as a bite adjustment, small filling, or larger preparation for an onlay or crown. If these do not work, the treatment plan will be modified. If left untreated, the tooth may eventually be lost. It is also possible that the initial split of the tooth may be such that it cannot be saved, despite our best efforts.
If you have any questions about these postoperative instructions for cracked tooth syndrome, please feel free to call us.