Solutions for broken front tooth.

I had a root canal on a front tooth some time ago. Now it has broken off in the gum and can’t be repaired. My dentist wants to put a crown on the adjacent tooth to support a new crown on the broken tooth, but I’d rather do a dental implant. What do you recommend?

Phillip H.- Baton Rouge

Philip,

Bear in mind I haven’t examined you, so it is hard to give perfect advice this way. My recommendation would be to go with dental implants.  Placing a crown on a front tooth involves shaving all around the tooth in order to make room for it. This reduces both the circumference and the tooth’s resistance to shearing forces. It appears you have fairly aggressive forces at work in your mouth, because you’ve already broken a tooth. You could be facing two broken teeth with this treatment option.

I suspect your dentist is recommending porcelain crowns because he is concerned about matching the implant crown to your natural tooth. On a front tooth this is tricky. It would be easier for him to do two crowns and have them made the same in the lab. If he’s suggesting this, it tells me he is uncomfortable with advanced cosmetic procedures. Don’t push him out of his comfort zone, because you will not like the results.This particular skill is beyond the reach of about 98% of dentists. You need an extremely skilled cosmetic dentist.

My recommendation is that you contact the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and tell them you are looking for an accredited member or accredited fellow in your area. These particular credentials will ensure they know what they’re doing. Then go to him or her for a second opinion on your case.

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic  dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.