Several years ago, while I was in college, I broke my molar. As a poor college student, I didn’t have any money so I just left it. Because it wasn’t bothering me, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Now, I’m having pain from the hole down to my chin. It is not a constant pain, but when it comes, it is pretty severe and it makes it hard for me to work. Is it possible that a broken tooth can get infected if I leave it like this?
I hate to break it to you, but you already have an infected tooth. That is what the pain you’re experiencing is telling you. You need to get this checked out. Tooth infections are considered dental emergencies. If left untreated, they can turn into life threatening emergencies. Generally, there are two ways to deal with a tooth infection. The first is with a root canal treatment. This is the ideal because it allows you to keep your natural tooth. However, if left untreated for too long, it will be too late for a root canal treatment. At that point, your only course of action is to extract and replace the tooth.
As you can see, each proceeding level of treatment gets more expensive. You didn’t mention why this tooth broke to begin with. If you are not certain know yourself, then that probably means that it had a cavity that was left untreated. As it spread and weakened the tooth, it broke. Dentistry is more affordable if you take care of things quickly.
A simple filling is cheaper than letting the decay grow to where you need a crown. A crown is cheaper than needing to add a root canal treatment to it. A root canal is cheaper than an extraction and tooth replacement.
Let’s say you are looking at a worst case scenario and the tooth has to be extracted. In that case, it will be important to replace the tooth. The best tooth replacement is a dental implant. That will be the closest to having a healthy, natural tooth in your mouth again.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.