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Dentistry/root canal vs extraction

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QUESTION: "hello dr jeff,

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 bridges....am 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 ?

thx

ANSWER: if the tooth is merely "dead" then you should be able to do a root canal and then a single crown on it and be done. there is no reason to pull the tooth unless it is not restorable. or are you saying the tooth is already gone and you have a space? a bridge is not the worst thing in the world. we did these for a lot of years until implants were perfected. and sometimes we still do bridges if we cannot do implants (you cannot always do an implant...bone not good enough, sinus in the way, etc). i would look into saving the "dead" tooth with a root canal and single crown if it can be done. maybe you can travel to a different country where you feel you will get better dentistry. maybe you can visit the dental school of your country (if you all have one). they could take care of this. good luck

jeff dalin, dds

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

QUESTION: dear dr jeff,

I found a dentist who said that he can do a root canal on the bad tooth but success rate would be 40 percent only ...he prefers to pull out the tooth cuz the tooth is bad and infected but he left for me the decision to make whether to go for  root canal or to pull out the tooth...do u advice on a root canal if the success rate is only 40 percent?

thx
lama

Answer
i really like to keep all teeth. i would maybe get a second opinion on this tooth and see what a different dentist says about the prognosis of the root canal. i would try to find an endodontist to give you this opinion. these are root canal specialists. that is all they do. 40% chance of survival is not too terrible but a little lower than i would like to hear. get the second opinion...maybe the other dentist will feel stronger about the tooth. good luck

jeff dalin, dds

Dentistry

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Jeff Dalin DDS

Expertise

general dentistry questions with topics ranging from cosmetic dentistry to dentistry for children

Experience

Fellowships in American College of Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the International College of Dentists.

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