Teeth are pretty tough, but they live a high-stress life. We work them hard every day and take them for granted most of the time. Until they break.
Fractured teeth are the result of years of chewing and grinding stress. If dental decay or a dental filling has weakened the tooth, the risk of it breaking is even higher. There may be some chewing and temperature discomfort when a crack is developing, but often there are no symptoms at all. At Centercare, we want to find these cracks before they reach the tooth nerve or cause the tooth to break.
Because cracks often are hidden, lying under fillings and between teeth, they can be hard to see, even on X-rays. At Centercare we use transillumination to help us find them.
At a crack line, a focused beam of high intensity light will refract differently than anywhere else on the tooth. The instrument we use at Centercare passes a high intensity LED light beam, via a fiber optic tip, entirely through the space between teeth. Cracks in teeth become visible when this light passes through them, giving patients the chance to intercept them before they do more damage. You could say it is a way of shedding light on the problem.