Often patients with a partially cracked tooth will complain of intermittent pain on chewing. The problem is that sometimes the crack is not visible because it can be under an intact filling. Also, cracks don’t always bother the patient when they are at the dentist. Since the symptoms can be intermittent it can sometimes be difficult to duplicate while they are at my office. When this happens I ask my patient to take some Q-tips home and do some research on their own. I explain that they can use even use the wood side of the Q-tip handle. If they can provoke the symptom, I ask them to peak in a mirror to see which tooth is the culprit. This technique work often works for patients that I am not able to diagnose while they are in the office and can prevent me from guessing which tooth is the one bothering them.
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