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Dentistry/dental bridge


QUESTION: hello dr gary,

I have a dead tooth in my mouth and where I live they  don't do implant cuz its not a civilized country...they only do scared to do the dental bridge cuz of having to cut down  the 2 adjacent teeth to attach the bridge therefore I have to sacrifice 2 healthy teeth to replace one and I donít want to weaken the 2 teeth and have decays under the crowns and suffer in the long run from more tooth damage and financial costs for fixing my teeth ?
what happens if I keep the dead tooth and leave it alone ? do u advice  me with the dental bridge although havig to compromise 2 healthy two teeth or just leave the dead tooth alone ?


ANSWER: Hi Lama,

I'm sorry you are faced with this problem. Leaving an abscessed tooth in your mouth is not a good idea. It is like having a "time bomb" because you never know when it might flare up and cause problems. It is often when you have a holiday or not around your normal dentist and then you really have problems getting it treated, so I would suggest you not leave it like it is.

Have you considered getting a root canal? That would save the tooth and also prevent you from needing a bridge. That would be my first choice. If a root canal is not possible, then extraction and a bridge would be the next choice. Remember, bridges were the treatment of choice for a long time and have proven to be very successful. You are does involve treating 2 perfectly good teeth, but a bridge is a good option when you can't have an implant.

I hope this helps explain things. Please write back if you need further information.

Best regards,

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks for your helpful reply....actually, there's no possibility for root canal as the the tooth is broken open and dark... my most fear and concern is that the 2 adjacent teeth will decay in time and will need root canals? is that a sure thing?

ANSWER: Hi again Lama,

If a bridge is done well and you clean it thoroughly daily, and I mean flossing under the bridge by threading floss under it and cleaning the teeth supporting the bridge, then there should not be a problem with decay. But cleaning is the answer. If you don't keep it VERY clean, you will have problems because food tends to trap under the bridge which can then cause decay.

Hope this helps.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hello dr gary,

I have last question, can a pregnant woman do dental implants?


Hi Lama,

In dentistry, we like to postpone ALL elective dental treatment until the 3rd tri-mester for the sake of your baby. Emergency dental treatment can be done anytime since it is an emergency. Often women choose to have their treatment done those last 3 months since they realize they will be plenty busy once the baby is born, so the answer is "yes"....pregnant women can have implants.

Hope this helps.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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