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  #1  
Old 02-03-2012, 06:04 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Tooth Opinions - Pull or Re-Do Root Canal?

My upper right second-from-the-back molar has been a problem for about the last 15 years. We started with a couple of fillings, then we moved on to a root canal for the constant aching. The root canal took two full years to settle down where it wasn't hurting whenever I chewed on it, but it did settle down eventually. Now I'm having sensitivity when I eat sweet or sticky things on that area, so I went to the dentist today. They saw a bit of a shadow on the x-ray, and think I might have an infection on one of the roots of the tooth that had the root canal already. They are suggesting that they want to re-do the root canal on this tooth again; the other option is to go in through my gums and cut the tip of the infected root off of this tooth.

I'm inclined to say I've done enough with this tooth; not all teeth make it to the finish line, and this tooth is looking like it's got to go. What would you do in this situation? Would you try another root canal, or just go ahead and get it yanked? Has anyone had the same type of situation, and what was your result?
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2012, 06:08 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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There are pros and cons. Tooth loss can lead to a weakened jaw bone and possibly other things. OTOH, there's only so far you probably want to go to save one tooth. I think what I might do in your situation is see another dentist once for a second opinion on it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:17 PM
KneeSid KneeSid is offline
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A root canal does NOT take two years to settle down. The root canal was done wrong or it shouldn't have been done at all. Most root canals last 10 years or so, and I know. Get it pulled and get a bridge or an implant
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2012, 06:58 PM
florez florez is offline
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Get the opinion of a periodontist on the condition and health of your gums before getting any work done.
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2012, 09:57 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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you need a tooth there to chew and keep other teeth in place. if yanked you will need replacement as implant or denture.

an endodontist removing some of the tip is a common thing they do.

ianod nor have i had this done to myself.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2012, 10:14 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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IANA dentist
If you are an adult, the effect of a missing tooth on your jaw is minimal. A gap can cause your teeth to shift. That's probably the worst effect you would ever see. That can be taken care of with a denture, bridge, or implant. If you go to a periodontist he will diagnose you with gum disease. No periodontist has ever found a set of healthy gums. Your dentist is perfectly capable of diagnosing periodontal disease. If your dentist recommends periodontal treatments, get a second opinion. Then if both agree, see a periodontist for the treatment recommended by the dentist.
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:00 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I've heard rumours that dentists can fill an empty tooth socket with a bone-building substance to reduce the amount of bone loss from missing teeth. Does anyone know anything about that?
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:34 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
I've heard rumours that dentists can fill an empty tooth socket with a bone-building substance to reduce the amount of bone loss from missing teeth. Does anyone know anything about that?
Yes. They can use your bone, or cadaver bone to do that. They can also use a type of cement. If you have a small jaw, this may be a concern for you. I've been missing many teeth for 45 years, and the totality of bone loss is not sufficient to worry about it unless I want more implants. I'm relatively lucky having high bone density, and a sturdy jaw.

Note that many people have their wisdom teeth removed and do not replace them or do anything to treat the bone. I'm sorry you don't live around here. I have an excellent oral surgeon who would love to explain all of this in great detail to you.

From my point of view you are overly concerned about the loss of a single tooth. But your point of view might be quite different.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:43 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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You're actually really re-assuring me - I'd be happy to have this tooth pulled and never have it bother me again. My concern is that dentists are so reluctant to pull teeth these days, and people scare you with stories of your mouth collapsing in on itself if you get any teeth pulled.
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:55 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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If you have a critical tooth or teeth pulled, yes, your face will collapse. However, if you have one back tooth pulled, I think that the effects are minimal.

I've had various teeth pulled. I had one tooth like the one you're describing, one that was constantly a problem, and I had it pulled. No regrets.
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:57 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
You're actually really re-assuring me - I'd be happy to have this tooth pulled and never have it bother me again. My concern is that dentists are so reluctant to pull teeth these days, and people scare you with stories of your mouth collapsing in on itself if you get any teeth pulled.
I've never heard of such a thing. You might want to see a regular doctor and have your bone density tested to alleve your fears. But I knew a woman who lost all of her teeth at the age of 20, and despite the inconvenience of wearing dentures, and some minimal reduction in jaw size, lived many years without her mouth collapsing. You have a problem with one tooth. I don't know everybody who's had a tooth removed, but I've never heard of anyone having an enduring problem after having a single extraction. For that matter I've never heard of an exodontist or oral surgeon who objected to removing a tooth. That's their job. Regular dentists can't make as much money from an extraction as they can from repeated procedures to save a tooth. Which from my experience, and the experiences others have related to me, will eventually have to be removed anyway. On top of that it's a molar, and even if you do nothing to replace it, it will not be easily noticed by others. I suggest pursuing an implant if you are comfortable with what that would entail. If the bone has not degraded greatly already, and may not have since you still have the tooth, an implant would be inserted immediatly after the extraction. The prosthetic tooth would not be attached to the implant for several months to give time for the bone to grow around the implant. After that, you wouldn't know it's not a real tooth.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2012, 01:17 AM
Spoons Spoons is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
You're actually really re-assuring me - I'd be happy to have this tooth pulled and never have it bother me again. My concern is that dentists are so reluctant to pull teeth these days, and people scare you with stories of your mouth collapsing in on itself if you get any teeth pulled.
That's not my experience. My dentist is happy to pull a tooth if it requires pulling. He tells me about what can be done as far as repair, but IME, it's usually easier and less painful to pull the tooth. He's fine with whatever I decide. BTW, I've heard no stories about "mouth collapses"--just what are these?

Perhaps you might seek a second opinion?
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2012, 07:20 AM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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I had one of my back molars pulled. The only time I notice is when I'm eating something with sharp points like tortilla chips, I will occasionally get jabbed in the spot where the tooth used to be. That happens on the roof of my mouth too.
The "collapse" occurs when you get enough teeth missing that your lips are not supported by teeth and pull inward. If you've ever seen a person with no teeth at all, thier lips pull in all the way around and thier jaws close farther together than they could with teeth. That's the most extreme example.

One missing tooth is not going to cause that.
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2012, 09:51 AM
coolbyrne coolbyrne is offline
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I've had a similar experience. Got a root canal done but couldn't afford a good cap for it, so ultimately, it cracked as did the tooth. I ended up getting the tooth pulled. It's the bottom molar, second from the back. I got it done when I was in my early 30's and in the years that have passed (6 or 7), I haven't noticed a problem in shifting of teeth or anything like that. My biggest problem is as River Hippie noted- when I eat something with sharp points, it can jab the gum. But other than that, no problems.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:42 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I was being hyperbolic about my mouth collapsing, like losing a tooth is the end of the world the way dentists and some people talk. I'm looking at it from the perspective of, I've done a reasonable amount of things to save this tooth - I think we're heading into extreme measures, but my dentist doesn't agree.
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2012, 12:38 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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teeth do shift. you might even experience this when you might be able to floss between teeth one day and not another.

with a mouth full of teeth they hold each other in place, like books tight between bookends. your teeth mesh together when chewing with tolerances of a fraction of a millimeter (the ridges and valleys of opposing teeth mesh together and you grind food more effectively). if your teeth shift then your bite might be off causing unusual wear on the bite surface or fracturing the teeth or fillings, even microfractures might lead to decay or deterioration years later.

ianad. there are often a scale of options depending on price and durability. ask your dentist to explain in detail the factors. get a second opinion from a regular dentist if you want/need. get an opinion from an endodontist to consider getting the tip done.

maybe spending more now might save you money preventing future problems if things might deteriorate years down the road. you will likely find stories on of success and failure of all treatment options. though people are individual in their biology and health and maybe the only way to compare is look at a large number of cases.
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2012, 01:11 PM
Arjuna34 Arjuna34 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
... the other option is to go in through my gums and cut the tip of the infected root off of this tooth.
I had a root canal fail after a few years, and ended up doing this option once (an apicoectomy), and then again a few years after that when it failed again (apparently the first apico was not done well). So far, the last one's holding. It was a canine tooth, so there was a lot of interest in keeping it.

The apicos were much easier to undergo than the original root canal, despite the ominous-sounding procedure of cutting through the gums. The success rate does seem dependent on the skill of the endodontist.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2012, 01:19 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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My fiance had two teeth pulled a few months ago - one was a wisdom tooth, but one was a side tooth that had been crowned years ago, and recrowned, and totally deteriorated in a horrible way. The dentist pulled it and said that if it seemed necessary they could do an implant, but that it might not be required (and so far it seems fine, so he's going to leave it.)
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2012, 02:37 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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First off, another root canal is gonna be horrendously expensive. Even with insurance, a root canal procedure is a huge money maker for the endodontist.

I had a problem tooth. It was the rearmost molar on the lower left side. We were in a very money-challenged time in our lives, and even with insurance, I was in for an expensive ride. When I complained of pain, the general dentistry clinic referred me to an endo.

EVEN WITH MY INSURANCE COVERAGE, the endo wanted $2000 to do the root canal. And AFTER the RC, I needed to get a crown.

Endo's office manager said, "Oh, we've got an excellent credit plan." I laughed in her face and said, "Good luck! I'm credit poison, since I have a foreclosure."

Of COURSE the credit company denied me. The endo cut his fees so my portion reduced to $200. I was so broke, I had to borrow the money from my daughter.

Now, I've had many root canals in the past. But the "modern" root canal is done in A SINGLE VISIT. The dentist drills everything out, then packs the craters with cement, and sends you home with a prescription for Motrin and an antibiotic.

Jesus Christ, I hurt. I had originally gone to get help because of tooth pain. And I paid money I did not have to get a HELLUVA LOT MORE tooth pain.

And it just never went away.

Hubster and I finally went to the nearby School of Dentistry. I was examined by my student, X-rays were taken, tests were done, and I had several professors walk around in my mouth. EVERYTHING about that tooth was checked out.

Verdict: the tooth itself was busted. There was nothing that could be done, it needed to be pulled.

Furthermore, since it was the tooth ALL THE WAY in the back, I was assured any drifting by the other teeth would be minimal. If I WANTED to invest in a replacement, I could get the actual implant from the School for nothing.

I had the tooth pulled five years ago. And it was blissful relief IMMEDIATELY. I think the tooth had been contributing to a TMJ problem I'd suffered for decades. I did not get the implant, and I've had no real noticeable drifting.

Hubster and I have had ALL our work done by the School of Dentistry since. We have been delighted with the work done, and the savings have been blissful. The business office does bill our insurance, and because of the reduced fees charged by the School, our out-of-pocket expenses are probably only 25% of what they'd been if we'd been going to a private dentist.

With your problem tooth, I'd seriously consider finding a School of Dentistry. Explain your pain (graphically!) and you can probably be squeezed in as an emergency.

Good luck. I totally understand your pain!


~VOW
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  #20  
Old 02-04-2012, 05:02 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
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How old are you? How much money do you have? How are the other teeth? I was very pleased with a $4000 bone graft and implant at on the good side of my face at age 68. At age 74, on the other side, no way at any price. It would be just throwing good money after bad and perhaps only the coroner will see it.
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  #21  
Old 02-04-2012, 06:14 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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How old are you? How much money do you have? How are the other teeth?<snip>
I'm 45; we don't have tons of money, but we could find the thousand dollars or so that root canals cost with our average dental insurance. The rest of my teeth are not great; I have three crowns, one root canal, and multiple fillings in all my molars and three of my front teeth. At this point I'm not getting tooth decay so much as gum recession and problems with my teeth cracking. I'm diligent about cleaning them (brush twice a day, floss every night, clean my gums with a dental pick), but they just aren't very strong. As far as I know, I have no bone density problems.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:41 PM
Jasper Kent Jasper Kent is offline
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Pull.

I am definitely biased, though. My last root canal was horribly painful and exceedingly expensive. Then, the cap came off in less than a year when I bit into a french fry. A french fry! Never again.
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  #23  
Old 02-04-2012, 06:45 PM
neuroman neuroman is offline
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Originally Posted by KneeSid View Post
Most root canals last 10 years or so, and I know.
Where did this statement come from? I've never heard of this. More detail, please!
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  #24  
Old 02-04-2012, 07:11 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Originally Posted by KneeSid View Post
A root canal does NOT take two years to settle down. The root canal was done wrong or it shouldn't have been done at all. Most root canals last 10 years or so, and I know. Get it pulled and get a bridge or an implant
the root canal may last decades. i think the crown could fail after a decade or so and need to be recrowned. after a root canal the tooth is dead and needs good care to last.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:23 PM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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I had my front tooth root canalled at age 12. It lasted until I was over 50. My dentist convinced me to have it re done (I think it was fine) because we were talking about capping the tooth. I decided against that because of all the stories I read about caps (crowns, whatever) coming loose. Better a slightly dark tooth that's solid.
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  #26  
Old 02-04-2012, 09:09 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Originally Posted by neuroman View Post
Where did this statement come from? I've never heard of this. More detail, please!
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
the root canal may last decades. i think the crown could fail after a decade or so and need to be recrowned. after a root canal the tooth is dead and needs good care to last.
It's going to depend on what type of tooth, the condition of the tooth and the underlying jaw, your eating and cleaning habits, the quality of dentistry, and all sorts of other factors. In many cases a tooth can be in pretty bad shape before the root canal is done and it won't last long. Other cases might last a lifetime. So there's no specific time period.

Last edited by TriPolar; 02-04-2012 at 09:09 PM..
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  #27  
Old 02-04-2012, 09:19 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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I've been told that 10-year lifespan of a root canal by others--NEVER by a dentist. I've had MANY RCs over the years. I was thirty-something when I had my first done.

I'm 59 now, and the only tooth I'm missing is the one I described upthread.

I don't open beer bottles or crack walnuts with my teeth, so my root canals will probably last as long as I will. Actually, probably longer.


~VOW
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  #28  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:01 PM
GreenElf GreenElf is offline
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I had a failed apico, where they cut through the gums to try to save the tooth, and don't recommend it. The gumline is very important, and they didn't inform me that it would reduce the gumline along adjacent, healthy teeth as well. I had my failed tooth removed, and am getting an implant. It would have been much cheaper to get the implant in the first place, but I was advised otherwise. My current dentist said the adjacent teeth are "in danger" although they were always very healthy in the past.

Last edited by GreenElf; 02-04-2012 at 11:02 PM..
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  #29  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:30 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Thanks for your information, GreenElf. I hadn't considered the gumline issue - my gums are already receding, and I don't think messing with them would be a good idea.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:36 PM
GreenElf GreenElf is offline
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They use a retractor device to pull back the gumline along several teeth. A dental assistant commented "that doesn't look good at all" when she walked by. It doesn't just pinpoint the gums under the tooth being worked on. I consider it experimental, or expire-emental, surgery. I don't believe it had the 85% chance they quoted me. I thought they would add gum tissue to help the healing afterwards, but I have a noticeable loss of gum tissue in that region, as though they sucked it down the tube during surgery.
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  #31  
Old 02-05-2012, 07:07 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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At a certain point you have to throw in the towel.

My spouse has had two permanent teeth pulled. One simply fractured, split into 4-5 pieces, and the dentist said "we could spend a lot of money trying to glue this back together, but there would be a high risk of infection or complication and I doubt it would last. So you'd spend thousands of dollars and probably have to pull it in a year or two at most anyway. But it's your choice. If you want to save it we'll do our best." He opted to have it pulled and get it over with.

A few months ago, a root canal he had done about 20 years ago failed. The dentist said he'd take one go at fixing it, but when that failed, pulling the tooth would be his recommendation. The repair lasted one month. Tooth was pulled - same problem, what was left of it had fractured. Also affected his sinus cavity as well, but he's healed up from that with no further complications.

The dentist did list the options for what to do afterward, be it a bridge or an implant, along with costs, as well as do nothing - neither gap is visible when he smiles, in the nearly 12 years since the first extraction there is no sign of his other teeth shifting, x-rays show no jaw deterioration (well, no more than normal aging causes), and since the first extraction his gums have actually been healthier, probably because there's no hidden festering going on.

In other words, for him yanking the two teeth was the best decision.

Is it for you?

Well, each situation is different. Is salvage really practical here? What are the real odds of success? Extraction isn't fun at all, but it does eliminate the problem tooth and you go on to heal up. Attempting to save the tooth might lead to extended suffering and will be quite expensive. These days, you might be better off yanking it and getting a tooth implant if having a complete set of teeth matters a great deal to you. It will still hurt, and still cost money, but overall it might be cheaper and quicker to the end result.

If it's just one tooth, though, you don't have to get anything in it's place. You do want your dentist to watch what's going on there, if your teeth do start shifting you might change your mind on that, but that's not a universal result.

I've heard that the average American by the age of 50 has lost 4 teeth. That's an average, of course, some people are 90 and still have their full set, others are 25 and have full dentures. The thing is, losing a tooth or two in the course of a lifetime isn't that unusual. I suspect most people missing just one don't bother to replace it, especially if it's an out of sight molar. Yes, there is a small risk of complications. There's also a risk of complication with a root canal, like infection... which you already know about.

But, back to you - you say this tooth has been problematic for fifteen years. If it was me, I'd say screw it and get rid of the tooth. I don't see pouring more money into trying to save it. But that's me. (It's also my spouse, for what it's worth) Ultimately the decision is up to you. Me, personally, I probably would just leave the gap as well and not worry about replacing it unless some other issue came up, but that's also me. You at least have the option of replacing it, and it's not like you have to decide that the same day as an extraction. I see it as two different questions, really.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:43 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
You're actually really re-assuring me - I'd be happy to have this tooth pulled and never have it bother me again. My concern is that dentists are so reluctant to pull teeth these days, and people scare you with stories of your mouth collapsing in on itself if you get any teeth pulled.
I've had one front upper molar missing for about 8 months now. We're putting in a dental implant but with my husband changing jobs we're waiting until my insurance is in place before we go ahead with it, so probably not until April or May.

There has not only been no shifting, I had new xrays done during my cleaning last week and the bone in my jaw is regenerating with the infected (and horribly broken) tooth gone.

Although they were not happy about the delay it's actually looking like it will result in a more successful implant.
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  #33  
Old 02-05-2012, 02:16 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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A thread that I started last summer, with a similar question:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...ght=root+canal

On the urging of the primary dentist and the endodontist, I wound up redoing the root canal - which unfortunately too two stages. First he started going in through the top as with a regular RC, then he decided that it would be best to do a "cone beam X-ray" (a sort of 3-day X-ray) to see if there was an accessory canal.

I'm quite pissed he didn't request the cone-beam scan first, as the top-down approach was therefore a COMPLETE waste of money - both for his fee, and for the work to restore the crown that he drilled through.

The side work (he made an incision in the gum, treated around the one root, filled that, and sutured the gum) wasn't fun but wasn't awful either. I had stitches for a couple of days. I still get aches if I try to chew anything hard with that tooth, though admittedly not nearly as bad as one episide this summer (shortly after that one thread): I was in pretty severe pain that had me alternating ibuprofen AND tylenol for several days, and I used a course of antibiotics. That's when I finally decided to try to redo the RC.

Do I think I did the right thing? I still don't know. The oral surgeon who did the implant in the corresponding other upper 6 year molar (that's healing up... supposedly in about 2 months I do the next few steps which involve adding more hardware and getting a crown made) says that repeat root canals usually don't last more than 5 years then you need to get the tooth yanked anyway.

And when the regular dentist was drilling away the temporary filling in the re-RC'ed tooth, it *HURT*. No, not the tooth itself because that has no nerves, but the area *around* the roots - which I personally think has been the problem all along. I was jumping and yelling in pain and she tried insisting it could NOT hurt. I finally snarled at her that I damn well knew when something hurt.

I really need to schedule the followup visit with the endodontist. He likes to do that in 6 months to see how things are going; he was willing to do it in 3 so I could get it done before my implant work (thinking that if the problem wasn't solved, I could have the surgeon yank that while I was out for the implant) but I was a slacker and didn't get that scheduled.

Now - off to read the rest of the thread and formulate a more on-target response.
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  #34  
Old 02-05-2012, 02:24 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
If you have a critical tooth or teeth pulled, yes, your face will collapse. However, if you have one back tooth pulled, I think that the effects are minimal.

I've had various teeth pulled. I had one tooth like the one you're describing, one that was constantly a problem, and I had it pulled. No regrets.
I've been missing my #3 molar (the upper right "6 year" molar) for something like 10 years now. There's no facial collapse.

Interestingly, that set of molars tends to be the group that is most likely to need crowns etc. - something about having the most wear and tear overall because of chewing (and it's 6ish years older than the 12-year molars).

For what it's worth, the only problem I've had with it missing is that the tooth directly in front has shifted *very* slightly, and there's enough of a gap that food tends to get caught in there (particularly meat or really fibrous fruit / veg). So I keep some dental floss in my purse.

The implant: the oral surgeon said I didn't need a bone graft, which I'd been worried about (supposedly that's likelier with long-gone teeth).

The jury is still out on the implant - upper-jaw implants *do* have a higher failure rate than lower (e.g. 90% success vs 95% or something). However, the placement surgery went quite well, I had almost NO pain. They gave me a scrip for Vicodin, of which I took 3. The first was as soon as I got home from the procedure, to keep on top of the pain as the novocaine wore off. The second was at bedtime that night, the third was at bedtime the next night - those last 2 were more to cover another condition as for the dental pain. The rest of the time I just took Tylenol (or maybe Advil, I don't recall).
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  #35  
Old 02-05-2012, 02:31 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
the root canal may last decades. i think the crown could fail after a decade or so and need to be recrowned. after a root canal the tooth is dead and needs good care to last.
Our dental insurance will pay for a crown replacement after 5 years, so they do recognize that the crowns don't last forever.

My understanding (per the oral surgeon) is that a failure of a *second* root canal will happen faster than the failure of the *first* root canal. That's because in the second RC procedure, they're traumatizing the tooth even further, leaving behind less of the original tooth, so there's less structure - meaning it's more susceptible to breakage etc.
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  #36  
Old 02-05-2012, 02:49 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Oh, by the way, my fiance's morning breath is, like, a million times better now that they pulled that awful rotten tooth. So there are side benefits.
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  #37  
Old 02-06-2012, 01:30 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I've been mulling it over over the weekend and thinking about what everyone has been saying, and I think I'm leaning towards getting it pulled at this point. I have an appointment with the dentist to discuss the treatment options tomorrow, so I'll discuss with him and see where we go from here.
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  #38  
Old 02-06-2012, 02:57 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Good luck either way it goes Cat. I'm sure you can see now you wouldn't be alone if you have the tooth extracted. Based on this thread, it's beginning to sound like you might be joining the majority.
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  #39  
Old 02-07-2012, 03:11 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Update: I'm going in on Monday for an extraction of the tooth that has the infection, and a root canal on the tooth that's beside it. We won't put a crown on that tooth yet, because it will be crowned if I get a bridge on that area.

That is, if I can get a note from my doctor about my blood pressure; it was shockingly high at the dental office, probably because of all the adrenaline in my system from being phobic about seeing a dentist. Fingers crossed!
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:22 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
That is, if I can get a note from my doctor about my blood pressure; it was shockingly high at the dental office, probably because of all the adrenaline in my system from being phobic about seeing a dentist. Fingers crossed!
take an mp3 player with music you like and have it on (at a reasonable volume where you can still hear people talk).

ask dentist about your phobia before the visit. they might do things a bit different to put you more at ease.
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  #41  
Old 02-07-2012, 03:24 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
Update: I'm going in on Monday for an extraction of the tooth that has the infection, and a root canal on the tooth that's beside it. We won't put a crown on that tooth yet, because it will be crowned if I get a bridge on that area.

That is, if I can get a note from my doctor about my blood pressure; it was shockingly high at the dental office, probably because of all the adrenaline in my system from being phobic about seeing a dentist. Fingers crossed!
Yeah - no point in saving the tooth if the top of your head is just gonna explode.

I just had a crown done today, and had nitrous. While I got pretty anxious at first because the damn mask wasn't producing enough air flow and I really could NOT breathe (they hadn't started anything but the oxygen at that point), once that was sorted out and the nitrous flowed, the whole procedure was pretty tolerable. I suspect my BP was up at first but dropped once the happy gas kicked in. As I assured them several times, having the nitrous made the experience easier for EVERYONE, since I doubt they like having to work on someone who's rigid with terror and jerks in pain every time they try anything.

The point being, if you're anxious, then knowing there's adequate pharmaceutical relief for that can be amazingly helpful.
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  #42  
Old 02-07-2012, 03:33 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Oh, crap, I forgot a vital piece of information - I'll be having all this done with sedation, but I can't get sedation if my blood pressure is too high. I don't think I have high blood pressure; I think it was just from being anxious about being at the dental office. I'll go to my doctor tomorrow and get it taken, and have a note faxed to the dentist's office if it is close to normal.
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  #43  
Old 02-07-2012, 04:51 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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When I was in a nearly identical situation to the OP, I opted for extraction and have had no ill consequences.
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  #44  
Old 02-07-2012, 05:30 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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i went for pull over re-do of root canal. turned out to be the correct decision as one of the 4 roots had a hairline break that didn't show up on the xray, but started off one whopper of an infection and incredible swelling.
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  #45  
Old 02-07-2012, 07:06 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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That's the other thing - I'm on amoxicillin now for the infection in the one tooth. That makes me feel re-assured - that the infection should be pretty much cleared up before the tooth is extracted (if everything goes as planned).
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  #46  
Old 02-07-2012, 08:26 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
Oh, crap, I forgot a vital piece of information - I'll be having all this done with sedation, but I can't get sedation if my blood pressure is too high. I don't think I have high blood pressure; I think it was just from being anxious about being at the dental office. I'll go to my doctor tomorrow and get it taken, and have a note faxed to the dentist's office if it is close to normal.
Before I got put on a diuretic, I had white coat induced high blood pressure, too. And this was before dental procedures. My dentist prescribed a couple of pills, I know one was an anti-anxiety drug (Xanax) and I forget the other one to take a couple of hours before the procedure, and had me get someone to drive me to and from the office. This worked like a charm. Maybe your dentist will also do this for you.
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  #47  
Old 02-07-2012, 08:38 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
Before I got put on a diuretic, I had white coat induced high blood pressure, too. And this was before dental procedures. My dentist prescribed a couple of pills, I know one was an anti-anxiety drug (Xanax) and I forget the other one to take a couple of hours before the procedure, and had me get someone to drive me to and from the office. This worked like a charm. Maybe your dentist will also do this for you.
If she's having other sedation, they might not want to combine them.

I've had Halcion (also a benzo) for dental work and that plus nitrous is da bomb for making me not care what's going on. It was glorious (as in, wonderful to have the work done and not CARE, not as in "this feels GOOD").

Nitrous by itself is excellent, though the anti-head-asploding effects don't kick in until you're already in the chair, obviously.
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  #48  
Old 02-07-2012, 09:11 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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I had twilight sedation with the anti-anxiety drug, but the same guy prescribed everything, so he took that into account.

I'm a big fan of twilight sedation, as long as I have someone to drive me.
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  #49  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:03 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Well, the amoxicillin runs are right on time.
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  #50  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:20 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Get some live culture yogurt, if you will eat yogurt. If you can't stand yogurt, get some live culture tablets from the pharmacy. Most of them are kept behind the counter in the refrigerator, but you don't need a prescription. You'll still have the runs until you finish the amoxicillin, but they won't be as bad, and you might be able to avert a yeast infection.
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