When a Broken Tooth Will Require a Root Canal
A broken tooth can be the result of severe decay, cracks, or trauma. Continue reading to learn whether a root canal will be included in the repair process. A broken tooth means a portion of the tooth’s structure above the gum line has come off. You should visit a dentist immediately after the incident to have the tooth checked. In many cases, the tooth will require a dental crown for support.
Root canal treatment for a broken tooth
Dentists commonly perform root canal therapy for broken teeth. The possibility of the procedure depends on the type of breakage and the condition of the remaining tooth structure. The type of tooth affected also determines the possibility of root canal therapy.
The causes of breakage for a front-row tooth are often different from those for the back teeth. The most common cause of front-tooth fracture is trauma or physical injury. For fractures where the tooth pulp is not affected, a root canal will not be necessary, except if patients show signs of pulpitis (pulp infection). If the pulp gets exposed due to breakage, a root canal will certainly be necessary.
Sometimes, a root canal can be performed on a front tooth and some premolars as a preventive measure. If the dentist thinks the tooth requires a crown but lacks adequate healthy tooth structure, a root canal will be done before crown placement. A post is often placed down the now-empty canal in the tooth roots. A rubber-like material called gutta-percha covers the posts to create enough surface and support for the tooth structure to hold the dental crown. The placement of posts inside a tooth is only possible after removing the blood tissues and nerves.
In rare cases where the breakage happens on the root and not the crown, treatment is not possible, except when the fracture occurs closest to the root tip. Then, an advanced treatment like apicoectomy will be done instead of a root canal. However, the nerves will still be removed.
Treatment for back teeth
Back teeth often break due to severe tooth decay, failed restoration, or old tooth fillings. Since these teeth are larger than front teeth, post placement is usually unnecessary. Dentists usually perform a root canal on the back tooth if the nerves are exposed or if removing decay will expose the pulp. The extend of the breakage will determine if a root canal is possible. If the fracture reaches below the gum line or affects the tooth roots, tooth extraction will be required.
The roots of back teeth hardly break, compared to front teeth. Even if it happens, a root removal process can be done to save the tooth. Root removal is only possible for teeth with multiple roots like molars.
Root canal treatment is done to save a broken tooth and restore its health and function. Even if there is pulp exposure or severe decay, removing the pulp will make dental restoration with a dental crown possible. If you have broken a tooth, contact our dental office right away to schedule an appointment for treatment.
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