Treatment of Cracked Teeth

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Abstract

Although many options are proposed for the treatment of cracked posterior teeth, most treatment decisions are not evidence based. Thus, considerable individual variation can occur regarding treatment recommendations for the same scenario. To our knowledge, there are no studies in the literature assessing practitioners’ attitudes toward the treatment of cracked teeth. This research recorded variations between general practitioners and specialist groups regarding the treatment approaches of cracked teeth. In a cross-sectional structured questionnaire survey, 32 prosthodontists, 34 endodontists, and 29 general practitioners working in public and private dental health services in Kuwait were assessed regarding their treatment approach to 5 different clinical cracked tooth scenarios. Chosen treatment options varied greatly. Within each scenario, there was a wide range in treatment preferences across all groups and within each group, especially with respect to asymptomatic cracked teeth. Overall, treatment approaches did not relate to specialty training. Statistically significant differences were noticed between endodontists and general practitioners, in case of crowning teeth, in scenario 3 (P = .032), and in extracting teeth for scenario 5 (P = .048). This study highlights that, despite suggested guidelines, there are large differences in the approach to treatment planning for cracked teeth by practitioners and specialists, both as a whole and within each group. Further multicountry studies involving larger dental populations are needed to determine factors that influence practitioners’ treatment choices and/or whether better or more widely accepted guidelines need to be established. More prospective well-controlled clinical case-based research with long-term follow-ups is required.

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