QUESTION: Hi, I never miss a dental check up and always alert my dentist of pant problems I have. I recently cracked an existing molar filling and my dentist said I would need a crown. He tried to numb the tooth with 10 shots and it wouldn't work. He told me to come back as this sometimes happens with a bottom tooth. I came back and was given 8 more shots that failed to numb the tooth. He told me to come back in a few weeks when I was due for my check up. I came back and the hygienist to.d me that everything was fine even though i complained about bleeding in an upper molar. She also took bitewing xrays. She told me not to be so aggressive flossing. I floss after vey meal. The dentist then tried again to numb the tooth 10 more times. At this point I was feeling like Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man but I trusted him. He finally gave up and referred me to a sedation dentist. I went to the sedation dentist and she looked at the tooth and said I had a pocket. She measured it at 8 mm! She referred me to a periodontist who deep cleaned and gave me an antibiotic. He also told me my other three molars had pockets 5-6. My other teeth were fine. I go back in a few weeks and he said I will probably need flap surgery. I have never had a tooth pulled or root canal and the thought of this makes me want to run. Is laser surgery as effective? I am vey upset? Thank you, Lynn
ANSWER: Lynn, it is hard to know if laser surgery will be effective in your case. I have not had an opportunity to examine you or look at your radiographs so I don't know what your diagnosis is. If you had digital radiographs you could e mail me that would help. There are many times when non surgical treatment can resolve the problems, but again, I have not examined you. I am located in York, Pa. Again, if I could see your radiographs I could give you a lot more guidance.
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QUESTION: Thank you for your prompt response. I realize the 8mm might have to be pulled. I was concerned about the other molars. Also how long does it usually take for a tooth to get to 8mm? I have never missed an appt. are radiographs X-rays? I am going to my dentist today to pick up my records as I am switching dentist. I live in Langhorne, Pa. What are the reasons why laser therapy would not be appropriate? Is it depth of pocket? When I questioned my present dentist why he didn't notice that the was a problem with his tooth his reply was that there was no bleeding and the gum tissue looked healthy. I realize I am peppering you with a lot of questions it is just that I am trying to make an informed decision and to be honest I don't know who to trust after this mess. Thank you.
Lynn, if you live in Langhorne, Pa there is a periodontist there named Dr. Paul Rosen. I would trust him with my life. I would go to him for a second opinion, unless he is the periodontist you are seeing. I would bring him the films and have him take a look. You can google him to find his number.