When to save a tooth, when its time to say goodbye.

Chewing on your favorite sandwich and all of a sudden “Crunch” a part of your tooth breaks off. Now what? Well time to visit the dentist and find out what it will take to keep or save your tooth

So when should you save a tooth and when should you say adios? As a dentist we always want to save teeth but sometimes its not possible. Of course there are a lot of variables but the biggest thing is how much tooth is left. When a tooth breaks off to the gum line and only the root of it is left its usually time to part ways. In order for the dentist to put a crown or cap on a tooth there needs to be some tooth to bond the crown to otherwise the crown will not stay on.

If a tooth can be saved what needs to be done? Well to start with at least a filling, possibly a crown, and maybe a root canal. In certain cases a broken tooth requires a root canal, post, and a crown.

Lets look at some examples:

image_55c2327bc7646This tooth is broken at the gumline with little to no tooth being usable for a crown without some extensive and expensive dental work. Even with all of the options we have in dentistry such as crown lengthening, post and core, root canal, crowns, this tooth would have a poor prognosis for long term survivability.







image_55c232e906a5cThis tooth gives us a little bit more to work with. This tooth would require a root canal  because the nerve of the tooth is exposed in the break and then a buildup followed by a crown. The prognosis for this tooth is probably fair to good and we would expect to get an additional 10 years from this tooth or more.





Broken Tooth with SwellingThis tooth is absolutely hopeless and has fractured in the roots. Their is nothing else to be done with this tooth but take it out to avoid any life threatening consequences of an infected, swollen tooth.

Each broken tooth is unique and requires an evaluation to determine what the best course of action is.

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