Do you have a broken molar? As experts in dental reconstructions in San Sebastián, we frequently deal with this type of emergencies at our surgery. While the most common cause of fracture is a large cavity that hasn’t been treated in time, your tooth may have broken for other reasons.
The common causes of a broken molar
When a patient comes to our surgery urgently with a broken molar, the first thing we do is make an in-depth study to establish the cause of the fracture.
Broken molar caused by a deep cavity
Tooth decay gradually damages the structure of a tooth, eventually breaking through the enamel surface, dentine and lastly damaging the pulp chamber housing the nerve.
When tooth decay spreads to the internal layers of a molar, the tooth will break and part of it will come away. If you have a molar which is broken or damaged because of a cavity you may feel sharp pain in the area, meaning that the nerve is exposed. In the case of only small fractures, you may feel discomfort when you drink something hot or cold. If the broken molar is not painful it is probably because you have already had root canal treatment, i.e. endodontics. We recommend that you visit your dentist as soon as possible to prevent more serious problems in the future.
Broken molar caused by a knock in the mouth or jaw
Broken teeth caused by a knock in the mouth or jaw are extremely common. A hit in the mouth very often results in a broken tooth. A direct knock could break your front teeth or incisors, and your premolars or molars may break if you fall or receive a hard knock in the jaw.
Your molars can also crack or break if you unexpectedly bite down onto something very hard, such as a small bone in a meat dish, hard nougat, or a stone left in a stuffed olive that was supposedly pitted.
If only part of the tooth breaks off, you may notice a sharp edge with your tongue. Sometimes this can produce a painful cut in your tongue or cheek. If this happens, visit your dentist as soon as possible so that they can see whether the tooth has suffered internal damage and can smooth the area to prevent it from causing further damage to your mouth.
Wear to your teeth due to misalignment or grinding
Wear to your teeth due to problems of misalignment or grinding can weaken the enamel and the teeth themselves.
Very fragile molars are at greater risk of splitting. If your teeth have severe wear caused by grinding, you may suffer a broken molar while eating something hard or even on receiving a small knock. That’s why it’s important to have a dental check-up at least once a year so that your dentist can treat any small problems in time.
What can be done to repair a broken molar?
There are different dental treatments for a broken molar depending on the health of the tooth and the type of fracture:
- A filling over the exposed area: if the break is partial, the affected area can be filled in using a biocompatible resin imitating the colour and shape of your natural tooth.
- Dental reconstruction: if your tooth has broken due to widespread decay, one way to save it is endodontics treatment to remove the nerve. The damaged tissue is then cleaned and the lost part of the tooth reconstructed with composite resin in the same colour, to prevent the decay from reappearing.
- Dental crown for broken molars in cases of extensive enamel loss: if you have lost a large surface of your molar but the nerve of the tooth is intact, we can fit a crown imitating the shape, colour and size of your original tooth. The crown is permanently fixed over your natural tooth.
- Dental implant: if the nerve is damaged to the extent that the broken molar can’t be saved, we can extract your tooth and replace it with a dental implant. This will guarantee that your other teeth stay firmly in place and that you can chew properly and smile with confidence.
If you do have a broken molar, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. JM Arizala, a dentist in Amara, Donostia-San Sebastián, will answer your questions and study the condition of your mouth at his surgery. Call us and make an appointment! We’ll be delighted to see you.