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Cracks in teeth often originate in stresses from silver fillings

The Center for Dental Excellence repairs cracked teeth for patients

Cracks in teeth are a more common dental issue for our patients than you might expect. The single most common factor behind this problem is weakened tooth structures caused by silver fillings.

Unlike the white, resin fillings that are more common today, silver fillings are not glued to the tooth. Without that bond, bite forces are more likely to create stresses that build up in the natural tooth that surrounds the filling. At some point, a portion of the structure will start to give and cracks in teeth will begin to develop.

“Depending on if those bite forces are off-angle and hitting on certain cusps of the tooth, a horizontal crack can develop inside the tooth,” explains Dr. David Brusky of The Center for Dental Excellence. “You might not even be able to see them without taking out the filling, and you may not know they are there because there isn’t always the pain or discomfort cracked teeth often generate.”

Cracks in teeth require treatment to eliminate pain

Dr. David and his team at The Center for Dental Excellence see a variety of outcomes from cracks in teeth. They can include the need for a root canal, extraction, dental crowns, and even surgery if the fracture occurs below the level of the jawbone.

Like a chip in a car’s windshield, barely visible cracks tend to propagate and spread more extensively within the affected tooth. The most common place for a crack to develop is at the deepest part of the filling, right where the floor of the filling meets the vertical wall of the tooth.

“I only suggest removing the silver filling if the fracture lines are visible on the surface of the enamel of the tooth,” Dr. David says. “Over the 27 years of my career, it is clear that when I pull old silver fillings out of a patient’s mouth, the tooth structure underneath are in pretty rough shape in most cases.”

Cracks in teeth also can develop vertically. This often affects the nerve chamber in the center of the tooth, ultimately requiring either a root canal procedure or a tooth extraction. Once the root has been even partially compromised, there is no going back for that tooth.

Contact us to schedule an examination if you feel pain or temperature sensitivity with any of your teeth. Pain can occur either when you squeeze down or when you release that jaw pressure. You should not postpone treatment for potential cracks in teeth, as they can develop into more severe issues.

About The Center for Dental Excellence in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Dr. David Brusky and his team provide general dentistry services within a holistic framework for patients in Green Bay, Howard, Suamico, De Pere, Pulaski, Shawano and other communities in northeastern Wisconsin. The Center for Dental Excellence is located at 410 Security Blvd., behind the United Health Group building (formerly AMS) in Green Bay, Wisconsin. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (920) 662-1440 or go to

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