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Can a Crown or Broken Tooth at the Gumline be Fixed?

Any time a tooth cracks, breaks or develops a large area of decay, the key to repairing it is having enough intact tooth structure left to work with. Restorations like fillings, for instance, need healthy tooth enamel around them to keep them in place.

Crowns aren’t much different. Although a crown covers the entire visible tooth above the gumline, it still requires a certain amount of structure to provide an adequate foundation.  What if there is not enough tooth for a crown at all? For instance, what if you suffer an injury and completely break the tooth off at the gumline?

What Happens if a Tooth Breaks Off at the Gumline?

Your teeth have two major parts: the anatomical crown and the root. The anatomical crown is the portion of the tooth that extends above the gumline. The root is the portion set below your gums and into bone. If someone falls or suffers a hit to the face, the anatomical crown can break at any point. Sometimes only a small area breaks away. Other times the tooth may crack in half. In severe cases, the entire anatomical crown fractures off at the gumline.

Perhaps you already have a restorative crown “cap” on that tooth. Sometimes teeth break off at the gumline due to new decay has developing underneath. If the crown broke off with the tooth inside it, rarely we will be able to utilize the same crown. Furthermore, if the tooth can be preserved, a build-up (for added reinforcement) will be required.

The first thing to do if you have a tooth break off at the gums is to manage any bleeding or pain. There’s little to no chance of being able to reattach the tooth. The only exception is if the tooth is avulsed completely, with the root still intact. Either way, seek out immediate care with our Sarnia dentist.

How do You Fix a Broken Tooth at the Gumline?

Can you crown a tooth that has broken off at the gumline? As previously mentioned above, only if there’s still enough tooth structure to rebuild. Before starting treatment, we must explore the health of the root first, which involves vitality testing and radiographs. If there is a large amount of decay and is close to the nerve, a root canal may be required before placing a new crown.

What if the Tooth Needs to be Removed?

Sometimes there simply isn’t enough tooth structure left to work with to restore. At this point, removing the residual root portion of the tooth is the next course of action. As with any other type of dental extraction, the area immediately around the site is numbed and the root is lifted out of the socket. Depending on how you choose to replace your tooth, we can may be able to prepare for a dental implant or bridge.

Ultimately the three main goals are to keep you out of pain, preserve your smile’s aesthetics, and maintain the natural function of your bite. An implant or bridge are the most appropriate options to do just that. Each one provides varying advantages.  Dr. Karen Davis will discuss how their benefits relate to your unique situation so that you can make an educated decision about your smile’s future.

Going without a tooth in that space would otherwise alter your diet, speech, and even potentially serve as a cause of embarrassment. The extra room in your bite can also lead to adjacent teeth shifting out of alignment.

Customised Smile Restoration in Sarnia

Dr. Karen Davis treats every patient as she would want her own smile! If you’re in pain or have a non-restorable tooth, we’ll take steps to alleviate your discomfort and create a long-term restorative plan. Rest assure, your smile is in great hands!

In pain? Need an emergency dentist in Sarnia? Contact Dr. Karen Davis Dentistry today for an appointment.

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