Unfortunately, I just learned that I likely will need to get a dental implant since I have a dead tooth under a crown. The tooth needs a root canal now and the dentist wanted to have the tooth pulled since he wasn’t sure he could get all the decay out of the tooth. Then, he wanted me to come back after several months to get a dental bridge.
Now, I’m waiting to hear back from an endodontist to see if the tooth can be salvaged. In the midst of all this, I’ve found out that a dental implant may actually end up being the best course of action. I just got dental insurance and it sounds like there are some waiting periods before I can have larger procedures done. So, I’m wondering how long I can wait until I start to have more serious problems from a missing tooth. If I have to wait a year, how bad it that?
The rest of my teeth are pretty healthy and I’m in my fifties. The tooth should have had a root canal nine years ago because the dentist placed the crown too fast. He didn’t want to do a root canal through the crown, so I’m surprised it’s taken this long to have so many issues. Back when it was done, the pain went away after the crown was done, so we just let it be.
-Sandra in Indiana
It is always best to save a natural tooth if at all possible. Some dentists can be eager to extract a tooth. Also, it is unclear why the dentist felt the decay could not be successfully removed. It may be in your best interest to get a second opinion. Or at the very least, wait to hear back from the endodontist.
If the tooth cannot be saved and must be removed, a dental implant is a permanent solution to a missing tooth. It will look, feel and function just like a natural tooth and it prevents bone loss at the implant site. However, you don’t want to wait longer than a couple weeks with a missing tooth. It will begin to influence the surrounding teeth and they may move into the open space.
Is there a rush to remove the tooth? Are you in pain? If not, you may be able to wait a couple more weeks before having it extracted, if indeed that is what is required. Also, it is important to realize that the dental implant process can take months since it will require healing time after it has been surgically implanted into the bone. This also ensures that the implant properly fuses with the bone.
Also, it is difficult to understand what you meant about this tooth possibly requiring a root canal treatment years ago. If that is correct, then the dentist didn’t properly treat the tooth. If there was an infection in the tooth, it should have been addressed immediately. There is no benefit in waiting, even if you aren’t in a lot of pain. Drilling through a crown to repair the crown is not uncommon and shouldn’t have been a deterrent to properly treat you the first time.
At this point, a second opinion would be a good idea. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.