I had a tooth that cracked and I ended up having a root canal and a crown. About a year ago the tooth cracked off at the gum line. I'm scared to death of the dentist and haven't gone to have anything done with it. However, it now has what feels like a wire coming out of the socket. Can anyone explain how they'll get the rest of the tooth out? Maybe if I know what's going to happen I'll finally go and get it taken care of
Tooth Broken to the Gum Line
Doctor Answers (7)
Treatment of tooth fractured to the gumline
If a tooth is fractured down to the gumline and needs to be removed dentists have special ultrathin instruments that can be used like a lever to loosen and remove the remaining root. If the tooth is fracured deep into the bone special piezo instrumentation can gently remove bone around the tooth using ultravibration energy allowing access to push out the remaining piece of tooth.
Root tip needs to be extracted.
A tooth that has broken off at the gum line, leaving only the root behind, needs to be extracted. Otherwise, the root can become infected and cause a swelling. Once you are numb, the procedure can be quick. Best, Dr. Elizabeth Jahanian.
Broken root canaled tooth
The "wire" you feel coming out of the top of the root may be the post that was placed into the root canal space to hold the core. If that is the case, then the core material failed and is still inside the crown.
Provided the fracture of the core was not due to recurrent decay, there probably should be enough tooth structure remaining to replace the core and crown. If decay was involved, the ability to restore the tooth will depend on there being sufficient tooth structure above the supporting bone level and an adequate ratio of bone supported root to crown.
The worst case scenario would be that the tooth can not be restored and the remaining root needs to be removed. Solutions to replace the tooth would include a dental bridge across the gap or placement of a dental implant.
You should discuss all of this with your dentist in a consultation. Commitment to a treatment plan should only be done after considering all options.
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Treating cracked teeth often involves a root canal and crown, but sometimes they fracture anyway. A good oral surgeon can give you either oral or IV sedation as well as local anesthetic, and remove the remaining tooth quickly and comfortably. You should also consider your options for replacing your missing tooth with an implant.
Tooth broken to gingival line
Very often teeth in patients with bruxism and after endodontic treatment become very brittle and have fractures which can be vertical - through the root, or horizontal - like in your case. Extraction of the broken teeth usually is performed as less traumatic as possible, especially in the situations, when replacement with implant-supported crown is considred later. You should not be worried about the surgical procedure as there are multiple ways to decrease your anxiety and fear of dental procedures. Surgical treatment can be done with mild sedation with benzodiazepines like Valium or Ativan or under intra-venous sedation which will make the whole dental experience less stressfull.
A bridge or implant will do it!
Broken root canal tooth
The 'wire' that appears to be coming out of the socket is either a part of the root canal filling or maybe the post that is added to the tooth after a root canal.
I would suggest that you may not need to have the remaining tooth extracted. The tooth may be saved and that would be the best case possible and the least expensive too. Just because a tooth is broken to the gum line doesn't absolutely require an extraction.
You can find a gentle dentist who can help you understand your best options - as I know you have some fear. Modern dentistry can be a wonderful experience. Best of luck.