I went to a new dentist because I’d been having a bit of tooth pain. I recently was tranfered and my regular dentist is three hour away now. The new dentist did an x-ray and said that there is decay on a tooth that already has a filling. He then proceeded to say that only about 10% of the tooth is viable and it would need to be extracted. He had me schedule the extraction appointment right then and said after the extraction, I’d need to schedule another appointment for bone grafting and a dental implant.
I am all for taking care of dental decay, but I just have a weird feeling that this is overkill. Am I right in thinking that something is hinky here or are my doubts because I am uncomfortable with what is forthcoming? I’ve never lost a tooth before and it would be disingenuous to say that it doesn’t bother me.
Bear in mind that I have not examined you, but I do think you have a right to be sceptical here. If the decay and infection had gotten that bad you would not be just now feeling some pain. You would have been having pain for months. An additional issue here is the amount of decay he is saying. If that were accurate, he would not have needed an x-ray to show him. It would be obvious. In fact, it would be very likely that the filling would have fallen into the decayed tooth.
My suggestion is that you cancel this extraction appointment and get a second opinion. There are dentists who will work in non-established patients in the case of dental emergencies the same day. When you do go, make sure it is a blind second opinion. Don’t tell them who the dentist is that diagnosed you or what he said. Just tell them exactly what you told the original dentist. This way their opinion is unbiased.
I suspect you will be able to save the tooth. However, if it turns out the tooth really does need to be extracted, then a dental implant is the best replacement option. Just take some time and make sure you get a qualified dentist to do the procedure. It is not adeqately taught in dental school and does require some post-doctoral training.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.