An incomplete tooth fracture involves a fracture of the tooth structure which extends into the dentin while the tooth remains grossly intact. Certain conditions increase the risk of a fracture occurring. In general it is hard to predict which teeth will fracture, and most teeth at risk do not fracture.


Major types of incomplete tooth fractures:

(1) those which do not involve the pulp

(2) those in which irreversible damage to the pulp has occurred


Risk factors for incomplete tooth fracture:

(1) large amalgam restorations

(2) overly conservative cast restorations

(3) posterior crossbite

(4) posterior edge-to-edge occlusion

(5) abrasion and/or erosion, including grinding (bruxism) or clenching the teeth

(6) unexpected biting on a hard object

(7) use of pins in restorative procedures

(8) anatomical form of the tooth crown (the steeper the cuspal inclines the more likely teeth are to fracture)

(9) open anterior bites (may predispose to heavy eccentric function on the posterior cusps)

(10) deepening of central fossae

(11) tooth decay


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