My dentist did a root canal on my left front tooth, but the tooth broke at the gumline. I returned to my dentist, and she used a metal screw to attach the temporary crown. After getting the screw, I feel a weird pressure-like sensation in my nose, but it is not painful. Is this screw going to cause more problems? I am afraid that I will lose the tooth and need a bridge. I’ve needed nitrous oxide for minor dental appointments and stronger sedation for anything more serious. I am concerned about how much this will cost because I lost my full-time job and insurance in April. I have two part-time jobs and no dental insurance. Ezra from FL
You probably would have more success with the tooth if your dentist inserted the metal post right after root canal treatment. The tooth might not have broken if your dentist had stabilized it. But we will focus on the post and possible treatment options. Keep in mind that Dr. Lacy would need to examine and x-ray your tooth for an accurate diagnosis.
What Is a Dental Post for a Crown?
A dental post for a crown is a small metal shaft or screw. A dentist places the metal post inside the tooth after root canal treatment. A post helps support a crown if you do not have enough healthy tooth structure left. A dental lab makes a custom crown that your dentist will cement to the post.
What Are the Risks of a Post?
Although screw posts are generally stable and stay in the tooth, they can exert pressure on the tooth root. The root can split with the stress and cause sensitivity or pain. A dentist needs to examine your tooth and post to determine if the post is causing your symptoms.
Treatment for Front Tooth Broken at the Gumline
When a front tooth breaks at the gumline, many dentists agree that it cannot be saved. Rotational forces on front teeth can cause a crown or post to loosen. You can accept your dentist’s recommendation for the crown and post or get a second option.
Alternative treatment if you lose the tooth
If you lose your tooth, the most effective way to replace it is with a dental implant. But you explained your employment situation and lack of dental insurance. And implants are the most expensive treatment for replacing missing teeth. A dental bridge or a dental flipper is a more affordable option.
- Dental bridge – Three crowns are connected at the sides to replace a missing tooth. Your dentist must taper the tooth on either side of the missing one because the crown on each end of the bridge must fit over those teeth to anchor the bridge.
- Flipper partial – A replacement tooth is embedded in an acrylic base. A clasp on each end of the appliance hooks around a tooth to keep the partial in place.
Depending on which treatment you use, you might need stronger sedation than nitrous oxide to help you relax. Talk to your dentist about your anxiety. Also, speak with her about financing or a payment plan to help you pay for care over time.
Miranda Lacy, DDS, a female dentist in Plano, TX, sponsors this post.