What would you do?

joann23456October 2, 2004

I went to the endodontist for an abcessed tooth, and it turned out to be my lower right wisdom tooth. (I have all my wisdom teeth.) She opened it up and it's draining now.

I have an appointment in two weeks to finish the root canal. After that, the tooth will need a crown. I also have some other dental work that needs to be done within the next year or so.

So, my question is - would you have the root canal and crown, or would you have it pulled?

If I have it done, it's going to cost about $1,800. I can afford it, but it's a lot of money.

I know that most people don't have their wisdom teeth. But I do. My parents spent a lot of hard-earned money to make sure I had good teeth, and I've tried to keep that up.

Plus, I inherited bad teeth. Mom's and Dad's teeth were all gone by the time they were 30. My dentist always compliments me on my cleaning and flossing, but I always seem to have something going on with my teeth. (My sister and brother - who grew up with flouridated water - do not have bad teeth.)

In a way, I think I should keep this tooth in case another one needs to be pulled and I need a supporting tooth for a crown.

So, what would you do? I'm just looking for opinions. Obviously, I'll make my own decision.

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I had to have my lower wisdom teeth pulled because there wasn't enough room for them. Then after a few years, the upper ones had to be pulled too because there was nothing for them to strike against except the gum and they were moving out of line. I don't understand all of it, but they were making my upper jaw painful and irritating my lower gum.

So, that may be a good reason for trying to keep the tooth rather than pulling it, if it would help you keep the upper one too.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 10:28PM
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I don't have any upper wisdom teeth, still have my lower ones. And I've also got "bad" teeth, plus grew up in Europe where dental care was awful & no fluoride, so I have had a ton of reconstructive work. Two fixed bridges, several crowns. Right now I am getting 3 implants, molars...mostly because I was losing a lot of bone and the adjacent teeth were starting to lean...I'm 46, the older one is the more advanced these things get. And with the missing molars (four if you count the wisdom tooth) my left cheek is very slightly more hollow than my right & that ain't improving with age either!

Can you get another opinion to ask about potential future bone loss or impact on adjoining teeth? I'm a huge believer in second opinions when considering anything like this. I did get two operations when making the implant decision...that cost $6,500! So I wanted to be really sure.

As I understand, bone loss in the upper jaw is more potentially damaging, because over time it can affect your sinuses...there's not a whole lot of bone between the upper molars & whatever bone seperates that from your sinus cavities.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2004 at 7:51AM
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If you can afford it that is what I would do. The dentist knows the construction of your mouth. I had one tooth pulled way before root canals and now the tooth next to it is leaning toward the back. It is unsitely and is a meat trap.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2004 at 9:41PM
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I had all my wisdom teeth pulled because there was no room for them to come in. They were impacted. I heard, not sure if I have it right though, that wisdom teeth are weak teeth prone to decay and are not affixed to the jaw bone the way other molars are. This causes them to become loose over time. I would ask the dentist about this as my understanding was that they were not worth spending money on as you would loose them down the line anyway.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 12:26AM
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If it was a tooth from the main set of teeth, I'd get it fixed. But since it's a wisdom tooth, I'd just have it removed. It might just turn around and cause more trouble down the road, especially since wisdom teeth are so tightly integrated with the jaw.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 1:16PM
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I would also have them pulled. Like Karen said, they're not exactly 'real' teeth in the sense that it's your front tooth or something. I had mine pulled because they were causing me great pain when talking, laughing and eating, etc. and it was worth it. I have no problems now. Also, is it going to cost more or less for the removal? Do you have dental insurance? I know most if not all insurance companies consider a crown 'cosmetic,' which for the life of me I don't understand. As if leaving a ground down tooth exposed is an appropriate way to go! No thanks.

If you do have dental insurance and decide to get it pulled, depending on your policy you might want to classify it is minor surgery. I didn't do this and it cost a ton. Had I done it, it would have been less. I'm not exactly sure why, but because I maxed out my dental coverage in basically one procedure I had to pay out of pocket for the rest.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2004 at 7:59PM
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