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Dentistry/cracked root


Are there any other choices besides extraction of a root canaled, gold crowned, top, last molar?  I discovered a little pocket of pus that drained and returned twice over the last couple of months.  The dentist X-rayed and said there was some bone-loss and he didn't think the tooth was stable enough to just remove that root. It doesn't seem unstable to me, at this point.  I do clinch and grind at night, and am now in the process of getting a night guard.  Regret now my delay on that!  I'm not only unhappy about the thought of extraction, but have been told that there won't be a way of replacing that tooth structure. I've spent so much money, time, and misery by having braces, fillings, then refilling, crowns, and root canals that I can not believe I am facing the possibility of loosing this tooth! I'm also wondering if a round of antibiotics would help, and if the infection cleared, would the bone regenerate at all? I'm feeling desperate, so any additional advice will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time and effort. Towana

Hi Towana,

The first order of priority is always to prevent infection.

I would ask your dentist about your suggestion regarding antibiotics. Hopefully he or she can use good judgement, in selecting the right antibiotics for you to treat the infection.

You also mentioned that you are in the process of getting a night guard.  Maybe it has been your nighttime grinding that has been aggravating that last molar?  Why not wait before extracting that tooth and see if wearing the night guard for a month or two helps any?

It is also a good idea to get a second opinion.  A second opinion does not automatically assume you are unhappy with your original dentist, but rather provides another set of eyes to look at your mouth.

Good luck and let me know how you turn out!

Best Regards,
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Jonathan at PatientBabble


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be Dentistry/TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my TMJ/bite problem. I AM NOT A DOCTOR...but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their TMJ/bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. The majority of dentists believe they can treat TMJ, but only those whose primary focus is TMJ treatment, are really any good at it. Any dentist, can take an impression of your teeth, send that impression off to the lab and have them make a night guard. That is the easy part. The tricky part is what the dentist does with the night guard, once receiving it from the lab. The dentist has to do a "fitting" where they tailor the night guard to be evenly balanced and comfortable in your mouth. Sometimes it can take a few visits, because further adjustments need to be made to the night guard appliance, to get it just right. I have found that dentists, who have had the most practice, do a better job at fitting your appliance. It's almost like an art form.

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