I have a problem and need some advice. I had a crown put on years ago for a tooth that should have had a root canal but didn’t. The dentist put the crown on and then realized it needed a root canal later. He didn’t want to do one through the crown so he decided just to leave it and “watch” the situation. Recently the crown broke and it looks like the tooth beneath it has died. He doesn’t think he can get all the material out so he wants to just pull the tooth and place a dental bridge. I read that dental implants are better, but my insurance, which is new, requires me to wait six months before they’re willing to cover any portion of the procedure. If I pull the tooth, how long can I wait to get the dental implant? Should I wait the six months before pulling the tooth?
I’m going to be rather blunt. You really need another dentist. I can’t believe he just left you with an infected tooth rather than do the root canal treatment through the dental crown. You were very fortunate this didn’t turn life-threatening. People still die from untreated tooth infections.
To make matters worse, now he’s telling you to pull a tooth rather than him trying to save it. I don’t think so. The first thing I want you to do is get a second opinion, preferably from an endodontist at this point. Hopefully, you won’t even have to consider replacing the tooth.
If You Need to Replace Your Tooth
Your intention of getting a dental implant to replace the tooth is the better idea than your dentist’s suggestion for a bridge. To get a dental bridge means having the two adjacent teeth crowned. Why remove healthy tooth structure unnecessarily.
If the tooth has to be pulled, you won’t want to leave the space open for six months. Your other teeth will begin to shift and tip into the open space. I would recommend getting a temporary tooth replacement for the waiting period. A dental flipper is reasonably priced and will serve you well during your waiting period.
In reality, the dental implant procedure is done in two stages anyway. There is a healing period where your bone has to integrate around the implant before your dental crown can be placed anyway. This means you’d need a temporary replacement even if you had the first stage done tomorrow.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Family Dentist Dr. William Becker.