My dentist informed me that I have a dead tooth. Apparently it is on my molar underneath the crown. What happened was that my crown broke off which was how this came about. From what I understand, the dentist feels that he cannot get all the decay out of the tooth for a root canal, so he is suggesting that I see an oral surgeon to have it pulled. Then, in a few months I’m supposed to get a dental bridge. I contacted another endodontist so I can get a second opinion and see if the root canal can be done so I don’t loose this tooth. After calling up my dental insurance, they told me that the crown won’t be covered for another year. I haven’t asked my insurance yet about dental implants.
Do you think that I need to have the tooth pulled right away? If this is the case, will I start to have jaw issues from having one missing tooth? I really hope I don’t have to wait a year to have this taken care of for insurance reasons. The tooth I’m referring to probably should have had a root canal done like nine years ago but the dentist decided it wasn’t necessary and placed the crown right away. The pain went away after the crown was done, so I thought everything was okay.
– Josephine in Wisconsin
Most dentists will do everything possible to save a tooth, although not every dentist is like that. It is unclear why the dentist feels that the decay cannot be successfully removed so a root canal treatment can be done. You are wise to be seeking a second opinion from an endodontist.
For replacement of one missing tooth, a dental implant is the ideal treatment. But you really shouldn’t let that much time pass before getting some kind of treatment done to fill that empty space. This is because teeth can move and shift around into the empty area fairly quickly. There shouldn’t be a rush to have this tooth removed, at least not from the information provided. If you do move forward with a dental implant, there is a period of healing that takes place between the surgery and restorative phases. But there will be a temporary treatment that is done while you are waiting for the implant to heal.
It is always best to save a tooth if at all possible. Although, in some cases a tooth simply cannot be saved.
It is also interesting that you mentioned the tooth needed a root canal many years ago. Because if that was truly the case, the crown should have never been placed in the first place. If there is existing decay or a tooth infection, it will only get worse if left untreated. It is quite common that a crown needs to be drilled through in order to perform a root canal. Having that done many years ago would likely mean you wouldn’t be having to decide whether or not to save this tooth.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD