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Oral Surgery/removal of upper molars


my dentist is insisting that due to some decay in the area between the two roots I must have surgical removal of all four upper molars (I have no wisdom teeth) I am worried about the possible effects of such sudden heavy change to my mouth (I am 75 years old, and my brother had very similar work done two years ago and it killed him, literally.) What are the risks of leaving things alone? Would replacing the molars with implants be worth it? Thank you.

Juffie - It is always better to save teeth if possible.  If the decay has damaged the teeth greatly and filling after removing decay cannot be done for some reason, then extractions are probably the best course of treatment.  The question I have is the extent of decay.  If it is not too much, then the decay should be removed and the teeth fixed.  If the extent of the decay does not allow the teeth to be fixed, then they should be extracted.  If they can be fixed that would be best.  

If the extent of decay is bad and near the nerve in the teeth then leaving the decay could lead to major infection and pain.

Replacing the teeth with implants is not a bad idea in many patients, but without examining you I cannot be sure if it is appropriate for you.  

It might not be a bad idea to get a second opinion from a different dentist as to a course of treamtnt.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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