My husband took quite a fall and broke his two front teeth. It appears the roots are still intact. We went to see an emergency dentist and he told us just to have the teeth extracted. Is there any way to save his teeth?
I am sorry about your husband’s accident. While it is possible to save these teeth with root canal treatments and dental crowns, there is not a guarantee. It is a bit tricky. A lot will depend on how much of the tooth is broken off, what condition the roots are in, and the comfort level of the dentist.
You may have some difficulty finding a dentist willing to do the procedure. Now that dental implants have grown in popularity and reliability, even fewer dentist will be willing than might have been twenty years ago. It’s easier just to replace them.
Here are some things to be aware of if you do find a dentist willing to try that will increase the chances of a succesful outcome. Whatever dentist you end up going to for this will need to bear in mind that the rotational forces are working against him or her.
Front teeth are rounded and the posts are as well. This does not bring much resistance to the rotational forces. You can increase your chances of the post working loose by putting two posts into the root, which minimizes the complication.
A second issue is that the post can crack at the root. Some dentists think using a rigid post will help this. However, with a front tooth, there are tipping forces to consider. Because of that, they would need to use a flexible post on the front teeth. Two I’d recommend are carbon fiber or fiberglass.
If it turns out that these teeth cannot be saved, don’t despair. He doesn’t have to look like the hockey player pictured above. Dental implants really are the closest thing to having healthy, natural teeth in his mouth again. I highly recommend them. Just make sure he goes to a dentist with post-doctoral training in dental implants.
Try to save these teeth first and then go from there.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.