Molar Broken at the Gumline

Dr. Hall:

Is there any way to restore a molar which has been broken at the gum line other than extraction and implant or bridge?

—Lucie from California

Lucie:

If a molar is broken at the gumline, the dentist can always do a root canal treatment, put dental posts in and do a dental crown without having to resort to a tooth extraction. Unless there is something else wrong with it. Maybe there is a crack or something else. If you’re suspicious that your dentist is too eager to extract it, ask for a second opinion somewhere. Different dentists have different attitudes about extracting teeth. There are many who seem to give up on a tooth too easily, but others will try hard to save them.

A molar broken at the gumline is easier to restore than a front tooth, because there are several roots to the molar, and the dentist can put in a couple of posts at different angles, to help hold the crown on. With a front tooth, it’s more round and there are rotational forces that work to dislodge the post. But sometimes even a front tooth badly broken off can still be restored.

I hope this is helpful.

—Dr. Hall