Saving a tooth: Dr Nik
“Dr Nik, this filling cracked and now is shaky…can the tooth still be saved?”
That was Puan Siti’s question when I called her in and I knew that she was panicking because she asked me even before she sat on the dental chair. “Well..please sit down first Puan Siti so that I can have a look and see what can be done to see whether it still can be saved.” I said.
Puan Siti is one of my patients whom I’ve been treating for couple of years now. I remember telling her that she needed to crown that particular tooth since it had been root treated (root canal treatment had been done) many years back. A root treated tooth will become brittle over the time and are easily cracked or fractured.
True enough..when I checked her tooth, it was not the filling that was cracked but rather the tooth had fractured. I removed the fractured part and Puan Siti was lucky that the fractured did not end too far into the root area. Should it have ended slightly further into the root area, I would not have any choice other than to pull out the tooth.
Now there’s only one solution left to save the tooth, that is to place a crown on it. I discussed the treatment and the cost with Puan Siti and told her that she needed two visits to complete the treatment. The actual crown which is made of porcelain would only be ready on the second visit.
Having no other choice than to crown the tooth, Puan Siti gave me green light to proceed with the crown. It took me a bit more than an hour to finally cement a temporary crown for her to use until she came back for her second visit.
On her second visit, I fitted in the permanent crown and did a bit of adjustments. The things that we check at this point was the fitting, colour and the shape of the crown. Puan Siti was happy with the crown and I cemented the crown permanently.
Puan Siti left the clinic happy and relieved that she still has her tooth and the crown matched perfectly with the rest of her teeth.
And for me I was happy that I was able to save one more tooth. To extract a tooth is absolutely our last option!