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Broken Tooth after Root Canal

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Old 10-26-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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nemodee HB User
Unhappy Broken Tooth after Root Canal

Hi all!

So last March I had a root canal done, but the dentist didn't want to put a crown on it because of my wisdom teeth growing underneath--so he recommended that I had them extracted, which I did. (This is the lower part of my mouth, the last molar). That cost me about $1200. Anyway, after having that done, my insurance said I wasn't eligible for a crown until January of 2012. I saw the dentist in August about maybe having it done, not realizing that my tooth had broken off a bit. He said that it was fine and not to worry about it, and just not to chew anything hard on that side, but that if the tooth were to split vertically, in two, to call him. Well, I left for school.. (I am originally a resident of California, going to school in Oregon), and was enjoying my college-student dinner of Ramen Noodles, when I noticed that even more of my tooth had broken off. Basically, half of it is now gone (I can see where the root was filled--kind of has a pinkish look to it), as it has split off even more. I can see the bottom of it, sort of, and I don't think it has split in half, but it has left this giant gaping crater in my tooth down to the gum line. I won't be back in California UNTIL December/January when I can get the crown finally done, but am wondering what I can do for now? It doesn't hurt at all--obviously because the root has been extracted, but I'm wondering should I put some kind of dental cement on it to stop the root filling from falling out... or what? What options do I have? Also, will they still be able to put the crown on it, or will the tooth have to be extracted? (A good half of it still remains standing). Thanks!

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Old 10-26-2011, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: Broken Tooth after Root Canal

I have no idea in what version of the universe it is considered okay to do a root canal and then leave it open without a crown for 9 months. That's insane.

OHSU has a dental school. Call their patient care clinic and make an appointment as soon as possible. The costs should be quite reasonable.

Old 10-28-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: OH
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LiLi4 HB User
Re: Broken Tooth after Root Canal

Wow. First of all, your dental insurance sucks. lol Sorry, but the fact that they're making you wait is absurd to me!

Secondly, odds are, they'll be able to put the crown on. But really, that will be up to the dentist who sees you before you get the crown put on. What could happen is that they have to put little metal inserts in the tooth to support it before they DO put the crown on. I recently had a root canal (just last week) and that is what they are going to have to do for me.

As for what you can do about the tooth basically falling apart, I'm not sure. The tooth is dead, therefore, exceptionally fragile, which is WHY it is so vitally important that a crown be placed on it. I reiterate, your insurance company are a bunch of morons. You may want to speak to your dentist, actually. Perhaps he/she would be willing to work with you and somehow make it so that the crown can be put on NOW, but billed LATER to the insurance company? Doesn't hurt to ask!

For the record, you should really try to avoid using that side of your mouth in the mean time. Just chew on the other side. Apart from that, it is what it is. =\

Best of luck, hun!

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