Dr. Terrence Tolwin
Practice limited to endodontics

The Practice
    Meet Us

Patient Information
    Maps and Directions
    Patient Instructions

    Root Canal Therapy
    Endodontic Retreatment
    Endodontic Surgery
    Cracked Teeth
    Traumatic Injuries

Frequently Asked Questions
    What is Endodontics?
    Why do I need Treatment?
    Why see an Endodontist?
    Why see Dr. Tolwin?

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Cracked Teeth

A crack or fracture line in your tooth can cause tooth pain, the most common symptoms being erratic or intermittent pain when chewing, especially with the release of biting pressure, and pain to hot or cold. When a tooth is cracked, chewing can cause movement of the fractured portion, which can stimulate the nerves of the pulp, causing pain. Eventually the pulp becomes damaged and the pain becomes more pronounced and consistent. Cracked teeth can become infected as bacteria can enter the pulp space via the fracture line, which can spread to the bone and surrounding tissues. Pain or infection caused by a cracked tooth can be usually eliminated with root canal treatment. Untreated cracked teeth can eventually split, causing loss of the tooth. Early detection of cracks is essential to avoid an unnecessary extraction.

Illustration of a cracked tooth

A tooth can crack in a variety of ways. In the case of a Simple Crack, when only the outer layers of the tooth are involved, the treatment may be simply to cover and protect the tooth with a crown. When a Complex Crack develops and involves the nerve tissue, root canal treatment is necessary in addition to a crown. If a crack extends down the tooth root, below the bone level splitting the tooth, the tooth needs to be extracted.

111 N. Wabash, Suite 2022
Chicago, IL 60602
P: 312-726-9666

Office Hours:

Monday – 9:00 to 4:00
Tuesday – 10:00 to 4:00
Wednesday – 8:00 to 4:00
Thursday – 9:00 to 4:00
Friday – 8:00 to 4:00
Saturday – Closed
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