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root cana & crown vs. extraction
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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root cana & crown vs. extraction

My husband has an infected molar (#31) and needs a root canal and crown which will end up costing us over $900.  He already has a mouth full of dental work and has a family hsitory of very bad teeth so it pains me to spend that kind of money when he may end up without any teeth at some point down the road anyway.  

The surgical extraction will only cost about $180 and that the way we are leaning.  He is already missing another molar on the opposite side and has managed fine with out it.

What do you think?

Thanks.
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540545_tn?1377626518
Tough call.  I understand how difficult it is decide on spending money on dental treatment if you don't feel confident in the outcome.  You should discuss with your dentist what his prognosis is regarding to his treatment outcome.  Your dentist should be able to give you a prognosis although keep in mind, it is not a guarantee by any means.  

I personally am very aggressive in trying to keep all my patients teeth because there isn't any substitution for a person's natural teeth.  If he does eventually need dentures (removable prosthetic), it is a different experience than having your own teeth.  It can be a lil loose at times, it is rather large and can get some getting use to, the chewing ability isn't as great as your teeth and sometimes it can interfere with taste and feeling because it covers up parts of your mouth so you can't taste as well and you don't get the same satisfaction with warm foods or cold foods that contribute to the joys of eating.  But it definitely beats not having teeth at all.

Also, the lost of one tooth is in actuality a lost of two teeth.  Because you lose the lower molar, the opposing upper molar has nothing to chew against and also becomes useless as well.  It may super-erupt, meaning that it'll grow into that molar's spot and can cause problems later on.  But its only a possibility.  Sometimes the teeth don't move much.

I personally don't know your finances so I can't really make that decision for you.  Hope that helps.  
3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, I just had a root canal on one of my upper right front teeth.  I have felt sensitivity on this tooth for almost two years. The first time I told my dentist about this, he did an x-ray and the tooth was ok. He just told me to observe. The sensitivy did not go away. Second time I went to my dentist, the x-ray showed the tooth was ok. My dentist told me to just continue observing the tooth. Last week, I felt pain in the same tooth and it even affected my eating. When I visited my dentist, the xray shows infection and my dentist said he needed to do a root canal because the nerves in my tooth are dying.   He said the cause was trauma caused by the adjacent tooth. I have a slight crowding problem and my teeth at the right side are not aligned.

I'm just disappointed that after telling my dentist about the sensitivity for two years, nothing was done to prevent this.  What could have been done to save the tooth?  Could braces have avoided this?

thanks,
jen06
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Avatar_m_tn
Dr. Tsang, sorry for typing in the wrong name.

jen06
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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