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Dentistry/cracked molar?


Molar #14
Molar #14  

Molar #14
Molar #14  
I had a filling replaced in upper molar (#14) almost a year ago, and when it was re-filled, dentist came dangerously close to the nerve and said it might not do well in future.  I have been having occasional pain in tooth.  Hard to identify cause, but seems like air, Occasional chewing, and sweet food brushing against it, seems to cause pain.  Been back to dentist, oral surgeon, and endodontist whoc have all reviewed xray.  None agree on treatment plan, and one indicated "crack on distal" while others said they didn't see one.  I am unsure of how to treat this tooth, as root canal treatment on molar on other side failed miserably.  Considering tooth removal and implant, but would love to get your opinion on if you see a "crack" or not.  Please help!

Dear Nicole,

Can't usually see a crack on X-ray, as they tend to be microscopic, or incomplete fractures at the time you begin to feel tham.  The filling on #14 is very close to the nerve.  But I think that the cause of your current problem is a small area of decay at the distal of the tooth, where there is no filling.  At this stage, the decay is deep enough to irritate the nerve in the way you describe.  At this point, I would recommend that a crown be made for this tooth.  The preparation of this tooth for a crown will make it 5% more likely that you will need a root canal as a result of the trauma of tooth preparation.  At that point, you can decide if you want to keep the tooth using root canal, or have the tooth removed and replaced with an implant.  But I believe that a crown will solve your problem and allow you to keep the tooth for many years.

On another note, it appears that you have similar decay at the mesial of #19.

Good luck.  And let me know what you decide and how it turns out.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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