Fractured Tooth: What are my treatment options?

Fractured Tooth: What are my treatment options?

A fractured tooth may be one of the most complicated and unpredictable conditions in dentistry. With a fracture, a portion of the tooth may become completely separated, with clearly defined pieces that can be easily restored. However, a fracture can also occur in a tooth that appears to be visually intact. Depending upon the extent and the location of the fracture, a typically dental restoration may not be effective, and the only recourse will be oral surgery.

With all of the restorative and reconstructive options that modern dentistry offers, it can be difficult to understand why a broken tooth cannot be fixed. The matter becomes especially confusing when the tooth looks perfectly normal, but has been diagnosed as fractured.

Unfortunately, the prognosis for saving a severely broken tooth can be poor or hopeless. When the nerve of the tooth has been exposed, or when much of the natural tooth structure has been lost, repairing it can require a heroic effort that is both costly and time-consuming without any guarantee of long-term success. When a fracture extends into the jawbone, or when the root of the tooth is fractured, even the most valiant effort to repair it will be rejected by the human body.

If a fractured tooth cannot be repaired or restored, you may be referred to an oral surgeon to have it extracted. It’s important to understand that removing the tooth is only the first step in the restorative process. Prior to, or immediately after removing the tooth, it is imperative that you consider your options for replacing it.

Though dental bridges and partial dentures are available, the ideal solution would be dental implants. Implants are the most permanent and realistic option for replacing a natural tooth, both above and below the gumline, in comparison to all other available alternatives.

The best time to discuss the possibility of implants with your oral surgeon is before the fractured tooth is extracted. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the time of the extraction, or the jawbone at the extraction site can be carefully managed in order to accept a future implant.

For more information about treatment options for a fractured tooth, contact Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center at 434-295-0911 to schedule an appointment today.