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Old 08-06-2004, 11:55 PM   #1
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lateeth HB User
Root canal tooth breaking?

I had a root canal a month or so ago and the dentist told me that a tooth with a root canal gets brittle and can break. But i thought that meant later, not sooner. About a week after the root canal, a third of the tooth broke away. the dentist built the tooth up and put in a temp filling which he thought would last a year or more while i had other work done on my teeth and before getting a crown. Now I can feel a place where there is another broken part. I am not sure if it is part of the temporary filling which broke or a new piece of the tooth. IT is on the other side of the tooth from where the original 1/3 broke away.
Does anyone know if teeth can break that quickly after a root canal? My dentist wanted to wait for the crown because the periodontist needs time to see if she can save the root canal tooth (it had a good chance of being saved before it started falling apart).

 
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:18 AM   #2
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Kikki HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

Root canaled teeth can become very fragile quickly, but often times they are fragile to begin with. This tooth really needs to be crowned before it breaks up any more. There is only so much tooth that can break off before the tooth is no longer saveable. I would not recommend building this tooth up and not crowning it - can you at least get a temporary crown? This tooth really needs to be protected or you may very well lose it. One thing I would want to look in to is if you have some sort of oral habit, such as clenching or grinding, that has caused this tooth the break so quickly. That is always a very good possibiliy that is relatively easy to address, and if you do have such habits, needs to be corrected as it will damage all of your work! But I really would go ahead and see if this tooth can be crowned...

 
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:56 PM   #3
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Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

I am sorry your dentist did your treatment this way. If he didn't know if the tooth couldn't be save possible because of perio Root canal should have never been performed. If it was performed crown should have been recommened and place asap. Usually depending on the tooth you have some time. I always tell people that they need to do the crown when they do the root canal, b/c a dentist never knows when that tooth is going to break. It could break like yours did or it could have lasted without the crown another 5 years.You never know and why take the chance when you have already invested the money into the root canal. Temp filling are only good for maybe 3 months if that. They are not meant to last a year at all. The temp filling will start breaking away and if the tooth is already broken a temp filling is going to do anything to keep it from breaking more.That stuff isn't strong enough for that. I could see replacing the permant filling that was in it with another permant filling for just a little while(2weeks or so). You have to have that filling in there anyways to do a crown and they are stronger and less likely the tooth will break more(it still can, but this material is stronger and would hold up better). Sorry to me it sounds like you where not given that right treatment. MY dentist won't do a root canal on a tooth that if he really know if will break right away and the patient doesn't want a crown soon. IF they don't want to ge the crown then they only other option is to have it taken out. Cause without the crown it's not going to last long at all. It's waste of your time and money.Goodluck.

 
Old 08-07-2004, 02:02 PM   #4
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lateeth HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

this tooth was bothering me and was the reason I had gone to the dentist in the first place when i found out i had advanced perio disease. I think i might have had a hairline crack in it where it broke off.(this was a separate issue from the perio disease but I found out about them at the same time). So of the teeth I could save from perio disease, this one was a decent candidate. I am trying to save as many as possible. The piece that broke off was within 2-3 days after the root canal so i went immediately to the regular dentist for the crown (different than the endo who did the root canal). He looked at it and thought there was plenty left on top of the gums to save the tooth but thought i should wait before crowning it to see if the perio could save the under the gums part of it. He used some sort of temp stuff that he said is stronger then the normal temp stuff. I have no idea what it is called. I will call his office next week to see what he thinks about the piece which broke. Hopefully he can see me during the week as i am going away for a few weeks and don't want to leave this as is in case more breaks off. I am pretty sure it is the filling which broke and not the tooth but it is hard to tell. I have so many different tooth problems at once, i cannot keep track of exactly how each tooth looks. I will ask what he thinks about crowning it now and about a temp crown. He did not mention that to me.

 
Old 08-07-2004, 10:08 PM   #5
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Skyla HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

Hi lateeth,

Just wanted to say I'm sorry about the tooth. I don't know the answer to your question. But I had a root canal that a piece of the filling came out, the dentist went to refill it and the whole tooth shattered. He was able to leave the roots tho and put a crown over it, its lasted 20 years.

 
Old 08-08-2004, 03:08 PM   #6
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tpj1 HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

Had same here but tooth only lasted 2 years even with crown before the root broke. I 'd get it fixed in a hurry!

 
Old 08-09-2004, 07:21 PM   #7
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Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

I had a root canal done on one of my front top teeth two months ago and my dentist covered it with a temp first and then a couple of weeks ago covered it with a porclean crown. My crown looked just like a regular tooth but it was a bit longer than my others so it hit first when I closed my mouth and I guess it weakend the tooth under it becasue just this Saturday I was eating a crispy chicken strip at a resturant and it broke the little bit of tooth that my dentist had left under the crown. I didn't ge to see the tooth before I left the office so I didn't know that it was too long and then I couldn't get an appointment to go back and have it adjusted. Now I have no tooth at all except for a teeny tiny piece that's left in my gums. I liked the temp better because it held up for two months and my permanent crown only held up for like two weeks. I'm not telling you that yours will do that but that's my experience. When your doc puts your permanent crown on, make sure that they let you see it before you leave the office. Also, do you guys think that my dentist should fix that tooth for me at no charge? If he'd just left it alone it would still be there. IMO

 
Old 08-09-2004, 11:28 PM   #8
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Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

Dixie Diva~
The temp would not have lasted indefinately, so a perm. restoration is important. I am very sorry to hear about all of the trouble you have had. Unfortunately, that is just how it is. Your dentist dropped the ball when he did not see you to adjust the tooth. If he had, I would have said that the fracture of the tooth was not necessarily his fault (hard to tell w/o seeing the condition of the tooth prior to the restoration). Healthy teeth do not fracture that way, of course your tooth was not healthy to begin with or it would not have needed a root canal. Dentists usually fit temps so that you do not put much pressure on them because they can break or pop off so easily. When the perm. is put on, they try to get it to fit just so. This tooth may have fractured at some point whether the crown was fitted properly or not, but by not seeing you when you had concerns about the fit is irresponsible. It takes just a few minutes to adjust a crown or filling - both of which, when fitted improperly can cause problems.
Now it is possible that the crown just popped off - new crowns do that sometimes (old ones too!). The litte nub of a tooth you say you have is likely all the natural crown left by your dentist before placing the restoration. I personally was horrified when I saw HOW MUCH tooth they file off to prep the tooth. They leave VERY little above the gumline! All that is left are little pegs! Your dentist should recement this crown on his own dime since the restoration is so new.

Good luck with your problems - Keep us updated on what happens.

 
Old 08-10-2004, 04:25 AM   #9
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lateeth HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

gee, I am suprised so many have had problems with root canal crowns. 2 weeks and 2 years!!! After spending so much money to get the tooth fixed properly, i would think it would last longer than that. I am sorry both of you who had this experience which sounds worse than my experience(so far). I am going back to the dentist tomorrow and am thinking about asking not to be charged a 2nd emergency visit since it has been only a couple of weeks. I will see. I heard from someone a few months ago that she read that dentists earn more per hour than any other profession. After my experience the last few months, i am inclined to believe that. I always felt dentists weren't making much in the days when i just had 2 cleanings a year for $100 or so. Now I pay $100 a minute it seems like.
Well, at least I have some hope this tooth can be saved if all they need is a little nubbin. I still have that.
Dixie, sounds like you can still save your tooth too.
And the root can break too!! Maybe i just need to get a whole mouth transplant. Or a whole head. I can look for one where the hair is not turning grey and there are no wrinkles.lol

 
Old 08-10-2004, 03:52 PM   #10
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Kikki HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

I too want a whole mouth transplant! Of course, with my luck, I would reject it! MOST crowns do not cause any problems - I have had my bridge for 5 years with no trouble, except the time I accidentally pulled it out while trying to remove a cork from a wine bottle (oops!). I went in and just had it recemented, no problem. Root canaled teeth are fragile and prone to problems, unfortunately. The majority of these teeth will give you relatively little trouble, but sometimes they can be riddled with problems. But try not to let the dad stories jade your impression of root canals and crowns. After all, you rarely hear the GOOD stories, just the bad!

On that note, I have a close friend who works in the NICU and sees SICK babies all day every day. When his wife got pregnant, he was more aware of what can go wrong than most of us could ever be. He never got to see a NORMAL baby who had a normal birth. I remember him telling me that he had to continually remind himself that just because he doesn't ever get to see and hear about all of the good, positive experiences, they are indeed the norm, and the bad is teh extrodinary circumstances.

 
Old 08-10-2004, 08:09 PM   #11
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Skyla HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

lateeth since your only hearing bad I will tell you the root canal I talked about above is 20 years old, and the only reason I'm being told to pull it now is cause of bone loss, I have another root canal thats 25 years and doesn't even have a crown on it. I'm worried about this tooth since its one I can keep it has a cavity in it and I'm afraid when they go to refill it, it will break again.

Last edited by Skyla; 08-10-2004 at 08:10 PM.

 
Old 08-11-2004, 08:55 PM   #12
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lateeth HB User
Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

Hey kikki, I too work in an NICU and am just grateful that my kids were born before i started working there or it would have been 9 months of constant worry.
I went to my dentist yesterday and what i was convinced was a large piece of the actual tooth turned out to be a large piece of the temp filling he had put in so he redid it and said it should be good to go. He said there is silicone in this type of filling which makes it much stronger than a normal temp filling but once in a while an airbubble get underneath(i had a really deep hole to fill) and then the filling collapses a bit and can break.
I was glad to hear it was not yet another piece of my tooth, so hopefully i can keep this tooth, at least for 20 years or so.

 
Old 08-11-2004, 09:10 PM   #13
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Re: Root canal tooth breaking?

lateeth~

Glad to hear that things were not as bad as you thought. I too hope that you have your tooth for many years to come

 
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