My top right second molar is falling apart. It chipped last wear while I was eating. Now, tiny pieces have fallen off gradually. Although I cannot see the tooth well, it feels rugged. The tooth is sensitive and sore too. My dental anxiety level is high. Will the tooth fall out eventually, or do I need to see a dentist? Thank you. Lendora
Thank you for your question.
Dr. Gavrilos would need to examine your tooth to determine what is causing the sensitivity and soreness, but we will give you some basic guidelines.
Will Your Second Molar Fall Out on Its Own?
Although a severely decayed tooth may fall out eventually, if it is sensitive and sore, it can affect your oral health in other ways. Infection from one tooth can spread to your gums, teeth, and bone. You will need to see a dentist for an examination, x-ray, and root canal treatment.
What Can You Expect with Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal therapy is not painful. If you have dental anxiety, a dentist will offer you an appropriate level of sedation to relax you. Afterward, a dentist will take these steps to clear the infection:
- Numb your tooth
- Make an opening through the crown of the tooth
- Clean out the infected tooth pulp (tissue and nerves inside the tooth)
- Disinfect the tooth
- Replace the tooth pulp with dental filling material
- Protect the tooth with a temporary crown
Tooth loss will create alignment issues unless you replace the missing tooth with a dental implant or bridge. Failure to replace a missing tooth causes other teeth to shift, creating orthodontic and TMJ concerns. Getting treatment now will prevent the infection from spreading, affecting other teeth, and becoming more costly and time-consuming.
Please do not delay treatment for your second molar. After an examination, a skilled cosmetic dentist will explain your treatment options.
Dr. James Gavrilos, a Barrington, Illinois, accredited cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.