A six year evaluation of cracked teeth diagnosed with reversible pulpitis: treatment and prognosis

By Krell KV, Rivera EM

Date: 01/2007
Journal: JOE


To report on the clinical outcomes of cracked teeth that were initially diagnosed with reversible pulpitis that were crowned during a 6-year period. Specific questions to be answered were the following: (1) what are the locations of these cracked teeth in the mouth? (2) What is the periodontal status of these cracked teeth? (3) Where are the cracks located on the teeth? (4) How many teeth required root canal therapy? (5) What clinical changes occurred in or around the teeth requiring root canal therapy?


8175 patients from private endodontic office during a six year period.


796 dx as cracked. (9.7%) mandibular second molar-30% mandibular first molar-29% Maxillary first molar-21%

127 diagnosed with reversible pulpitis, of which 27 converted to irreversible pulpitis in 58d(n=21) and N in 149d(n=6).

All teeth initially had probing </=3mm. Increased probing were associated with 5 of the 27 teeth needing RCT. Increased to 5mm.

Cracks located distal marginal ridge in 56%, Mesial marginal ridge 15%, both marginal ridges 29%.

Clinical Significance:

Cracked teeth diagnosed early with reversible pulpitis can be treated with a crown, but 20% will need RCT within 6 months.