Trauma or injury to a tooth can lead to an extraction—or not. But don’t let anxiety about the appointment overwhelm you. Your dentist likely offers sedation to help you have a relaxing, painless experience. If not, find a dentist who offers it.
A recommendation to extract—or save—your tooth, can depend on the extent of the damage and a dentist’s skill and experience. How do you know whether to agree to extraction or get a second opinion?
Save or Extract?
If the crack in a tooth extends into the pulp, your dentist can save it with root canal treatment.
If a vertical crack extends below the gumline, your dentist will likely need to extract it.
Why Is Extraction Needed?
- A deep vertical crack below the gumline is likely to spread in the space between the tooth roots.
- Eventually, the tooth will split.
- Performing a root canal is often useless.
Consult with a specialist (endodontist) if your dentist is recommending root canal treatment.
Is Doing Nothing an Option If It Doesn’t Hurt?
You might think that if you don’t feel pain—or if you’re managing the pain with ibuprofen—nothing needs to be done to the tooth. Why do you need to take action?
- Extensive damage to the tooth allows bacteria inside.
- Bacteria spreads and creates an infection that, if left untreated, will affect the gum tissue and jawbone.
- Eventually, the infection will spread to other parts of your body with the potential of becoming life-threatening.
- Before you receive any treatment, you can receive sedation dentistry to help you relax.
In fact, your dentist will likely offer sedation. Your dentist or specialist will numb the area around your tooth to prevent you from feeling the injection. The extraction will be painless.
What About Your Smile?
Depending on the location of the missing tooth, it will detract from your smile. You can receive a dental implant to replace the missing tooth. It’s the most effective and natural-looking way to replace a missing tooth.
Before your dentist places an implant in your jawbone, you can receive nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation for a relaxing, pain-free experience. You’ll wear a temporary dental crown during a three-to-four-month healing period. Afterward, your dentist will attach a permanent crown to the implant. Your crown will match your surrounding teeth.
Regardless of what dental treatment you need, sedation will help you receive it and protect your oral health. If your tooth has cracked or split, call your dentist right away.
Steven Brooksher, DDS of Dentistry by Brooksher in Baton Rouge, LA sponsors this post.