Tooth Broken to the Gum Line

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

Doctor Answers 9

Treatment of tooth fractured to the gumline

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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.

Laurel Dentist

Root tip needs to be extracted.

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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.

Elizabeth Jahanian, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it goes.

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Having teeth removed can be a scary process, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it goes.

If you do an online video search you will find plenty of videos that will show teeth being removed by dentists. I wouldn't recommend going there--I'm a dentist and those videos scare even me.

Removing the tooth is a minor procedure; the dentist will have the area completely numb before he even starts to wiggle the tooth. From start to finish, the whole process of removing the tooth should only take less than five minutes once you're numb.

I would also recommend having it removed BEFORE it starts to hurt. Once the tooth is infected, the whole process can be more painful and the healing process can take longer.

Best of luck!

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Fractured tooth

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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.

Paul D. Kantor, DDS
Cleveland Dentist

Tooth broken to gingival line

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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. 

How is removal of a broken tooth done

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Thank you for your great question. First of all I want  to reassure you that after getting the area numb, the only thing you will feel during procedure will be pressure, NO pain. Just like in removal of not broken tooth, doctor will wiggle it from side to side to loosen the ligament and make it easier to be removed. Depending how and where it broke, doctor might use a handpiece to remove a small amount of bone around a broken area to get access to the tooth. In any case you will not feel pain.

Do consider getting antiaxiety prescription from your dentist to make easier on you.

A bridge or implant will do it!

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Hello there! Not to worry this is not an uncommon situation.  The retrieval of the remaining piece of tooth is quite simple and painless. Your dentist will NUMB the area, so you won't feel a thing. Once the root is delicately retrieved, using special dental instruments, you can replace the missing tooth with an implant (costly) or a bridge (a lot less costly).

Broken root canaled tooth

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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.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Broken root canal tooth

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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.

Greg Lutke, DDS
Plano Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.