I had a root canal treatment done and then a crown. This was a while ago. The tooth started hurting again. I went to see my dentist and he said I have an abscess. He prescribed me some antibiotics and referred me to an endodontist. When he x-rayed it, he said the tooth was cracked and will need to be extracted. Here’s my question. The tooth has been treated with antibiotics and no longer hurts. Can I just put off this extraction until (and if) something else happens?
I’m relieved you wrote to ask before following through with this plan. This would end up being a disaster. Often, just having an abscessed tooth is considered a dental emergency. But, let’s ignore this for a moment and just go under the assumption this won’t blow up quickly.
Right now your tooth is still infected. The antibiotics didn’t “cure” it. Instead, it is just holding it at bay until you have the infection physically removed. What will happen is you’ll feel fine for a while. Then, a few days after your antibiotics are used, the infection will return. If you try to extract the tooth then, you’ll find the infection will keep the Novocain from working to its full potency. That will be a miserable experience for you.
Your best solution and the one which will be the least risky for you is to have it extracted now. If anxiety is an issue for you, there are dental sedation options which will give you an anxiety-free experience.
Replacing an Extracted Tooth
You’ll need to replace your tooth as soon as is reasonably possible. The best tooth replacement option is to get a dental implant. It mimics the natural tooth by providing a prosthetic tooth root and then a crown. It is the closest thing to having your healthy natural tooth back.
I will be upfront that it is the most expensive of your options, but it is worth saving up for. Don’t leave the space open until you can afford to replace it. If you do that, the adjacent teeth will begin to shift or tip into the open spot. Then your teeth will need orthodontics and there won’t be enough space left to adequately replace the tooth.
There are inexpensive replacements you can put there on a temporary basis. Timeliness in both these situations will save you money and hassle in the long run.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. John Weaver.