My tooth split 2 days ago, and I was able to see a dentist the next day. I don’t have a regular dentist, but I found one about 10 minutes from home who fit me into the schedule. She examined my tooth and took an x-ray. She said that she would need to extract the tooth and advised that I schedule a follow-up appointment. I didn’t schedule the extraction appointment because I want to save the tooth. I got a second opinion this morning from another dentist who also wants to extract the tooth. How can I find a dentist who is willing to save my tooth? Thanks. Keith from S. Dakota
You made the right decision by going to a dentist right away. A fractured tooth is an emergency, but we advise anyone with the issue to spend a few minutes before selecting a dentist to find one with advanced training in restoring teeth. Otherwise, the only option you might receive is to schedule an appointment for extraction. As you wait for dental care, it will be too late to save the tooth.
Several factors affect whether a dentist can save your tooth:
1. Timing Matters for Saving a Fractured Tooth
A critical factor in saving a fractured tooth is that it needs to be treated within a day or two. Three days have passed since you fractured your tooth, so it might not be possible to save it.
2. Using the Right Procedure
- There are a few cases of dentists who saved teeth with a vertical fracture. They use the following steps:
- Fit the pieces of the tooth perfectly together
- Hold the pieces with a dental crown
- Schedule long-term follow-up appointments to ensure the tooth is intact
You can find research on saving fractured teeth and present it to a dentist. Although it might be too late for your case, the research might help someone else.
3. Dentist’s Training and Experience
Few dentists have attempted the procedure described in the research—or have the skill to make it succeed. An endodontist is a specialist in root canal treatment and saving teeth. A few days have passed, so if there is a possibility of saving your tooth, you’re more likely to find an endodontist who can do it, rather than a general dentist.
We hope it’s not too late for an endodontist to save your tooth. If your tooth cannot be saved, consider a dental implant for lifelike appearance and function.
Joseph Rota, DDS, a Colorado Springs cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.