I am going to be honest and up front with you that I am not the best dental patient. Being in the dental chair makes me nervous in the best of circumstances so I tend to avoid dental work as much as possible. This is likely why this happened to me. I was in a lot of pain for about a week and finally caved to see a dentist. He did some x-rays and found a problem with a tooth that already had a filling. He told me there is very little chance that he can save the tooth and I should expect him to have to extract the tooth. From there, he wants to provide a dental implant. I’ll be honest that this whole thing sort of terrifies me. Is there another option?
Please bear in mind that I haven’t examined your tooth so I can only go on what you’ve described. However, based on what you’ve said, I have my doubts about this dentist’s diagnosis.
If a tooth was truly that far gone, I don’t think your dentist would have even needed to take an x-ray. The decay would have been evident to the naked eye.
Even if it was under the filling, that extensive amount of an infection means the filling would have caved in or fallen out at that point.
Another issue is that type of dental infection takes a LONG time to develop. You would have been in a significant amount of pain for substantially longer than a week.
Before moving forward, I would like you to get a second opinion from another dentist. It could save you some unnecessary dental work. I do realize the idea of seeing another dentist probably doesn’t sound much better to you, but I believe I have a solution to that as well.
Your fears of the dentist are not at all uncommon. There are many people who struggle with fear of the dentist. Those who visit a dentist who offers some type of sedation tend to have an easier go of things.
When you get your second opinion, I’d like you to not tell the dentist what your first diagnosis was. Just allow him to look at your tooth and form his own opinion.
If Your Tooth Cannot Be Saved
Hopefully, your tooth is saveable. However, if it isn’t, the one thing I agree with the dentist you saw was his choice of tooth replacement. If you do have to replace a tooth, dental implants are the absolute best replacement. This surgically implants a prosthetic tooth root then attaches a crown to it. It is the closest thing to having a healthy natural tooth again.
Another option is a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two dental crowns. It doesn’t require surgery. However, it does mean you have to crown the two adjacent teeth. Unless those teeth already need a crown then I don’t recommend grinding down healthy tooth structure.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Thimmesch and Foreman.