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    Thread: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

    1. #1
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      Default Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      I need to have a molar (lower jaw, position 7) extracted. It had been filled 20 yrs ago, but now (a) half the filling has crumbled away and (b) half of the surrounding tooth has also broken off, leaving a cave-like structure.
      I'm slightly worried that when the dentist tries to loosen the tooth prior to extraction, the dentist will have nothing to get a good hard grip on, and perhaps if they try to get a grip on what little is left of the visible tooth, it will simply break, leaving nothing above the gum-line for them to pull on. What happens when this is the case? Do they cut open the gums as much as necessary, in order to get the tooth out? Will this take long, and will it be more uncomfortable and slower to heal, once the anaesthetic wears off?
      I'm not scared of the basic procedure, having just had an (intact, unbroken, previously filled) molar extracted a few days ago. That extraction took 5 minutes and of course I didn't feel a thing. But looking at this other tooth, common sense tells me that my dentist is not simply going to be able to grip this broken molar with their pliars, the way they did to the intact one. Obviously some other techniques will need to be used. I would just like to have an idea of what to expect. I don't mind the dentist doing whatever he needs to do, I'm OK with that. But they don't always tell you in advance what to expect. I find that I'm not afraid so long as I have a rough idea of what to expect.
      'Thank you' to anyone who replies.

    2. #2
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      Default Re: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      I'm not a dentist but have had extractions. I also know the feeling of posting something on here and getting no responses, so thought I would offer some reassurance.

      You will be numb and can always ask for a "top-off" if you feel anything. I've had stitches after but they are not bad. I had one molar that they had to take out in parts--I was on nitrous and clonazepam (pre-med) so didn't mind when she used the handpiece. My guess is you will have no problems since the other one went well.

      Good luck.

    3. #3
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      Default Re: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      Well, I'm going to have this broken tooth extracted on Friday. I can't help but feel a bit nervous, but I guess my dentist knows how to do the job. If it turns out to involve any unusual techniques, I will post on here afterwards, about how it was done and what I experienced.
      My only real fear is about experiencing pain, and after having another tooth pulled out a few weeks ago, I know that the anaesthetics are so good that there is absolutely no pain, so really I have nothing to worry about. But all the same, just knowing the appointment is 36 hours from now, I find myself counting down...36 hours to go....35 and a half...34....etc. You just want it to be over! I keep telling myself, I am doing the right thing by having the tooth out now, when it is not yet infected and not in pain. I'm saving myself from future pain, and from having to make an emergency appointment. Yet I still want to cancel the appointment, bury my head in a pillow and pretend that I will not need to have the tooth out. It's stupid. OK, so I'm feeling afraid and that's not going to change in the next 36 hours, so I'm going to go to the dentists, feeling afraid, and that's that. If my grandfather could fight in the trenches in WW1, and that was really something to be scared about, then I can go to the dentist again, which is not really something to be scared about, in perspective.

    4. #4
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      Default Re: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      All of my extractions were horribly crumbled-to-the-gum pseudo-teeth. Barely a sliver left on my upper molar and 2 lower pre-molars were 80% gone. The extractions were NO PROBLEM...lots of novocain, some nitrous, about 20-30 minutes each with no nasty noises, no post extraction discomfort other than some irritating stitches. Follow your dentist's instruction to gently rinse the area with warm salt water, no sucking motions, OTC painkillers if necessary. Be nice to yourself afterwards...you'll do fine, I'm sure.
      Good luck and best wishes.

    5. #5
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      Default Re: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      Well, I said I would post about having this tooth extracted, and it was done today.
      Unlike the other molar which I had extracted a few weeks ago, which came out very easily in 4 or 5 minutes, this one proved to be a different case, and (though it's difficult to be certain about the passage of time when you're in the chair) I'd say it took around 20 minutes to actually extract (I'm not counting applying the anaesthetic, I mean the actual process of getting the tooth out).
      The dentist, instead of gripping (what was left of) the entire tooth with a forceps, used a single-pronged instrument, a bit like a small chisel, and applied it first to one side, then to another, gradually loosening the tooth from different angles. This seemed to take a while, and he had to use a fair amount of pressure. It was not painful, but I won't lie, it was a bit uncomfortable. At times, it seemed that I could feel some mild pain when he was doing the most forceful yanking, and I got a bit scared, as I thought this mild pain would get worse, but my fear proved unfounded, it didn't get worse. It was always easily bearable.
      After several minutes of pulling, digging and prising at the tooth, he got the forceps in and started the removal. The upper part of the tooth broke and came out, leaving the roots plus (I assume) a few millimetres of whole tooth above where the roots separate. I say this because the next step was that he applied a drill and separated what was left of the tooth/roots into smaller, more easily extractable pieces. (The drilling was completely painless, I didn't feel any discomfort at all). The roots were then extracted one by one. This involved some more heavy prising and wriggling with the chisel-instrument, which I admit I found rather unpleasant, and sometimes I felt some mild 'almost-pain-but-not-quite-pain' while this was going on. One root really did not want want to budge, and an extra-long forceps had to be deployed. Eventually it was all done.
      Beacause the tooth was extracted in bits, this means you've got an open wound exposed for longer, and so the assistant applied the suction tool several times, to suck away excess blood and to let the dentist get a clearer view. But there was no major bleeding involved at any stage.

      One of the things about when you are a nervous patient and you go onto this forum and you read people's stories, is: Sometimes you simply do not believe people when they say "Oh, it's completely painless, don't worry". You think they might be just saying that, to try and stop you from worrying. Well, what I want to try and do on here, is be honest. No bull. After all, how is someone else's story going to help reassure you, unless you believe they are being totally honest and up-front with you?
      So here it is: I've just had quite a 'difficult' tooth extraction today, and OK, I found it rather uncomfortable, but certainly not what you would call painful. Sure, I would not want to repeat this experience too often, and I admit that I felt quite scared while it was being done, but I managed it. I stayed in the chair, I did not freak out, and I did not experience any real pain. I drove straight back to work afterwards, and I took 2 soluble paracetamols when I began to feel the anaesthetic wearing off, 3 hours later.

      One thing I've found is that it is unrealistic to try and completely lose your fear before going to the dentist. Fear is irrational, and no amount of reasoning will make it go away completely. You just have to accept that you feel scared, and say to yourself "OK, I feel scared, it's OK, it's normal to feel scared, and this fear is not going to totally disappear, so I'm going to go to the dentist anyway, feeling a bit scared". Fear is the anticipation of what you THINK is going to happen. But once you are actually in that chair, there's no more anticipation, because the thing IS actually happening, and you find that you start to calm down. Now, I've just posted about quite a difficult extraction, and I felt a lot of fear beforehand, and also during it, but still I found that I managed to go through with it.

    6. The Following User Says Thank You to Tommy6789 For This Useful Post:

      Lindaru (22nd August 2013)

    7. #6
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      Default Re: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      Thanks so much for letting us know how the extraction went. After viewing this website for nearly two years, trying to work up the courage to visit the dentist for the first time in my adult life - I'm 37!!! - I went a month ago. So far I've had loads of cleaning done and three fillings all by a dentist I found through this website. I cannot believe but the gut wrenching fear has finally left me. However, I have about six broken teeth yet to get extracted so it was great to read your success story. I'll post a recommendation for my dentist when I've all the work done but it's amazing how the patience and no lecture attitude of your dentist takes away the fear. It makes them human not this person that's dying to inflict pain on you - as I experienced in childhood. Thanks again, will let you know how I get on with mine!

    8. #7
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      Default Re: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      Just following on ... i had three fillings on my lower front teeth this morning and my first root extraction where the tooth had completely been broken off for years. she did all the filling work first. I felt so much better after reading your experience yesterday as I had visions of her having to slice open my gum to get the root out. As you said you feel a bit of pressure that's it no actual pain. She showed me the root after and there was a little abcess on the end so she said that my body is constantly fighting infection because of it - I have another five roots to get taken out so I should feel a lot better by the end of it! Totally not one bit nervous about getting the rest of them done! Tks again!

    9. #8
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      Default Re: Extraction question - broken tooth with part of filling lost

      Thank you SO VERY MUCH for posting this, as I have the same broken tooth situation and was terrified of the dentist not being able to get the entire thing out without slicing my gum line open. I have to get my tooth extracted tomorrow! So glad I found this post!!! Not so scared anymore....

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