In Part 2 of our series on dental fractures we will look at simple fractures in the enamel of the tooth.
The case study for this type of fracture is an elderly gentleman who was initially seen in another office where he received a diagnosis of severe fracturing of his front teeth. He was told that to prevent the loss of all of his front teeth, they would have to be crowned.
However, these fractures also appear to be just in the enamel of the tooth, and are not even tracking into the dentin. (See tooth anatomy diagram)
In reality this tooth is not in jeopardy of breaking. Yes, crowning to improve aesthetics would be appropriate, but crowning for protection of the tooth because it will be breaking in half is not necessary in this case.
Enamel fractures are routinely seen in dental offices.
If a tooth fracture comes down through the enamel into the dentin it can exit horizontally or obliquely. In this first tooth the fracture came out obliquely just above the gum line.
Although this fracture at first would appear to be a serious situation, actually this tooth can be easily restored and has a very good prognosis. This fracture came down and out horizontally. There’s still plenty of tooth to work with and restoration is a fairly routine procedure.
Dr. Mastrovich further explains simple enamel tooth fractures in this video.
In Part 3 of our 4-Part series we will look at case studies of back teeth (molars) with fractures that are actually secondary to the effect that fillings have on weakening the tooth.