I have a first upper molar which has been filled, but has partially broken and is causing me pain. My dentist is recommending I get a root canal treatment and crown to save the tooth. I’m wondering if it’s just better to remove the tooth and be done with it. Do you mind me asking your opinion?
Sally A. – New Jersey
I don’t mind at all. In fact, that’s the purpose of this blog. My initial response is whenever you can save a tooth, save it. It’s much easier to deal with a healthy tooth than to replace one.
I know a lot of patients are afraid of root canal treatments. There are lots of scary things said about them. But, in all honesty, they’re a much easier procedure than a tooth extraction. So I’d really go for the root canal.
However, it’s your tooth. If you really want it removed you can do that. Before you make the decision, I’d like you to consider another aspect. The position of the molar you’ve described is an important one. You don’t want to leave that space empty. It will cause other teeth around it to shift.
When you talk about tooth replacement procedure. It will become a matter of dental implant versus a dental bridge. A dental implant is the best tooth replacement option, but now you’re talking about surgery. A dental bridge doesn’t require surgery, but you would need to crown the adjacent teeth. If they’re healthy, that makes no sense.
Either way, it’s significantly more dental work than just getting a root canal and crown. So, all things considered, I’d say your dentist’s advice is spot on.
If you’re still unsure, there are some dental offices which give free second opinions. It may help to have someone else examine the tooth.
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