Who does not know this problem? Sometimes it happens very quickly – one bite and it breaks off, the molar. In a moment you are annoyed that you have eaten it at all.
But that is not bad at all and above all not a rare problem. It happens to almost everyone once in their life. Often the tooth can be saved and the broken piece can be easily reattached or replaced. But sometimes a larger treatment is necessary. .
The reasons for this well-known problem are manifold, but often last for a long time. In technical terminology, a fracture in the tooth is called “tooth fracture”. An external force causes a cheek tooth to give way and break.
Typically, caries or a root canal treatment of the molar tooth will reduce its stability. Even teeth that already have a large filling often end up in such a position because they are no longer so robust. Biting on a hard piece of bread, a nut, a kernel or a piece of candy is enough for the little mishap.
Molars can also break off due to an accident. Sports accidents, such as colliding with a teammate or opponent, are quite typical here. However, a simple falling down is often enough. The teeth then bite hard on each other and it can grind in the molar region.
The affected patient usually feels and hears the fracture immediately at the moment it happens. A soft or loud crackling, a piece of the broken tooth in the mouth or a sharp edge at the fracture site are typical signs. The dentist examines the oral cavity and the individual teeth.
In addition, a cold and percussion test is performed to see how severe the damage really is. An X-ray of the tooth completes the diagnosis. Then the dentist can decide which treatment method is the best.
When do I have to go to the dentist?
No matter how the tooth is broken, you should visit a dentist or dental clinic as soon as possible. On weekends and holidays you can visit the dental emergency service. A broken tooth is always associated with an increased risk of caries and inflammation. The degree of injury can often not be assessed with the naked eye.
What do you do when the nerve is exposed?
If the tooth breaks off in such a way that the nerve and blood vessels are exposed, it usually needs root canal treatment. If the tooth has broken off in such a way that the nerve and blood vessel chamber (tooth pulp) has only been opened selectively and there is no contamination with bacteria, there is the possibility of direct capping. In this case, a medication (calcium hydroxide) is applied to the pulp to cover the wound by forming dentine and thus root canal treatment is not necessary. Since in most cases contamination of the pulp with saliva cannot be avoided, root canal treatment is the therapy of choice.