One of the most difficult diagnoses in dentistry is Cracked tooth syndrome. The patient generally presents to us with sharp pain on chewing in a certain area of his mouth, but he frequently cannot tell us which particular tooth hurts. It is generally a back tooth, and it becomes plain which tooth it is when the dentist has the patient bite on piece of wood placed on top of the correct tooth. As a rule, the dentist cannot see any problem with the tooth, either clinically (in the mouth), or radiographically (on an x-ray).

The tooth may have no fillings or decay, or it may have an intact filling with no visible associated problems. Nothing looks wrong, but the patient feels sharp pain when he applies biting pressure to the top of the tooth. Symptoms of sharp pain to pressure accompanied by no visible signs of problem with the tooth are the hallmarks of cracked tooth syndrome.