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Oral Surgery/molar broken below gum line


I would be very grateful for any advice. My rootcanaled molar broke below the gum line in such a way that a crown is not doable. To avoid extraction of the tooth, my dentists suggests the following: not to extract the (rootcanaled) root of my broken-off molar, but to put a sealant on top of the exposed molar root, and build it up so that it will be  half a centimeter higher than the gum line. This is meant to keep bone loss at bay. I however fear that bone will still shrink as there is no proper loading of the tooth, and also  that the two adjacent teeth, one rootcanaled premolar and a molar, will take most of the impact of chewing (and maybe break as well).. I  wonder what a stump of a molar that cannot really chew will do to the bone mass around the root (in view of a future implant), and  what will happen to the opposing molar now that it does not meet any resistance when biting. It will grow, perhaps? Would this cause any problems later if I want an implant?

You seemed to be well educated in Dentistry you ask some very good questions. I believe that the procedure that your dentist is suggesting may not cause any imminent harm for the short term. It will not prevent bone loss if the area is not hygienic allowing for proper cleaning of the area which will definitely lead to infection. My best advice if inevitably you wish to do an implant is to have the tooth removed and have a implant placed.  Allowing the tooth to go unopposed for extended periods of time may lead to super eruption or extrusion of the opposing tooth which will decrease the opposing restoration vertical dimension making it a short clinical crown.

Good Luck,

Oral Surgery

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Steven A Saxe D.M.D. Board Certified ABOMS


The Dental specialty of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery practice for 22 years


Washington University School of Dental Medicine D.M.D. Sinai Hospital of Detroit Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

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