Tag Archives: dental implant

Delayed Pain with a Root Canal Treatment

My dentist told me that pain from a root canal treatment will peak in 48-72 hours so don’t worry if there is still pain after the procedure. However, I recently read a blog post on a dental website that said pain after a root canal treatment meant the treatment has failed. Which is it?

Laura

Dear Laura,

I’m wondering if the wording of the blog led to the confusion here. There will usually be some pain after a root canal treatment. Plus, as the Novocain wears off the pain will gradually increase. This is normal and, as your dentist mentioned, should peak somewhere between 48-72 hours, though some are pain-free sooner.

When you need to be concerned is if the root canal had completely stopped hurting and then several days later (or even longer) begins to hurt a second time. That would be a sign of a failed root canal treatment. In that case, you would need to see the dentist again in order to have it redone and hopefully save the tooth.

What If You Can’t Save the Tooth?

Sometimes, despite the dentist’s best efforts, a tooth is unsavable. When that happens there is nothing that can be done except to extract and replace it.

Hopefully, this will not become an issue. But, if it does, then the best tooth replacement option will be to get a dental implant. These are the closest to having a healthy, natural tooth again.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Dentist Insisting I Get a Dental Implant

I recently lost a tooth. That is stressful enough but my dentist is insisting I get a dental implant. It isn’t that I don’t want one. I just honestly can’t afford one. They are way out of my budget. He’s insisting it is the only good option. Is that true? If so, do I just have to leave a gaping hole in my smile?

Kelly

Dear Kelly,

It really galls me when dentists give ultimatums like this or make patients feel like they don’t care about their teeth just because they do not go into debt for a treatment.

I’m going to tell you right away that you will probably be better served by going with a different dentist. You want one who follows his ethical obligation to give you all the options available to you. Not everyone can do the ideal treatment.

While it is true that a dental implant is currently the best tooth replacement option, there are other choices.

The next best option would be a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two dental crowns. That means the adjacent teeth will have to be crowned, but it is a permanently attached solution.

The next option is a removable partial denture. This will have a false tooth and use clips to attach it to your adjacent teeth. As the name suggests they are removable, so they won’t be as steady as a dental bridge, but will suffice.

The cheapest option is a dental flipper, but this is only meant as a temporary option while you save up for a better replacement.

I am going to suggest you do an internet search for an affordable dentist and go to them to get your replacement. Most dentists who promote themselves as affordable try to keep their fees reasonable and also offer some type of payment plan.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Can You Have a Root Canal Done a Third Time?

I had a root canal treatment done about nine years ago. It had to be re-done a few years after that. Now it is bothering me again. Is it possible to do a root canal treatment a third time?

Mary

Dear Mary,

You can re-do a root canal treatment quite a few times. However, you may want to evaluate whether or not that is your best course of action. Root canal treatments are tricky under the best of circumstances. It is estimated that even when a dentist does everything perfectly, there can still be a 15% failure rate. Why is that?

While there is between one and four canals in a tooth, depending on the type of tooth, there are branches that stem off from the main canal. These can take crazy twists and turns. In some cases, they are literally impossible for us to clean out and seal properly with the current technology we have. If a dentist can’t reach all the pulp, there is a significant chance of re-infection.

In addition to that, the chances of a successful re-treatment go down with each attempt. This will be your third treatment. A second option is root canal surgery. However, some patients are not candidates depending on where the nerves lie.

While a good dentist always tries to save a tooth, the honest answer is some teeth are not saveable despite everyone’s best efforts. In that case, the only thing left is to get a tooth extraction and then a replacement.

If that happens, the two best replacements to look at are a dental implant or a dental bridge. Both will serve you well. Just speak with your dentist about your particular circumstances and he or she will help you make the right decision.

Best of Luck!

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Can’t Afford Next Treatment

I had a Maryland Bridge, but ended up being allergic to part of it. I can’t use that anymore and my dentist is inisisting my only option now is a dental implant. I priced that originally and couldn’t afford it. Surely there is another option, but my dentist is insisting this is it.

Carol.

Dear Carol,

A dollar sign hatching out of an egg

I’m sorry that you have had such a hard time with this tooth replacement. It is unfair of your dentist to insist on the most expensive treatment. While everyone wants the best option, sometimes our budget precludes that. What disappoints me is your dentist is ethically bound to at least make you aware of all your options, even if he won’t do them.

You will have more success with a dentist that understands budgetary limitations. If your dentist doesn’t look for someone who advertises as an affordable dentist. They’ll be more willing to offer you the options that work for your pocketbook. Most are even willing to accept payment plans.

Affordable Options to a Dental Implant

The first thing I would suggest to you is a zirconia or porcelain bridge. This is a false tooth suspended between two dental crowns. These are metal-free and won’t give you the same allergy issues that you faced with your last treatment.

If that doesn’t work for you financially, there are allso removable partial dentures. You’ll just need to make certain your dentist knows you will want metal free clasps.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Antibiotics for a Tooth Infection

I’ve had a tooth infection and went to see a dentist. He prescribed me antibiotics that I’ve been taking antibiotics for 11 days. I was fine for a while, but now it seems to have started acting up again. Do I just need to refill the prescription or do I need another visit to the dentist?

Kevin

Dear Kevin,

A man holding his jaw in pain.

I’m hoping there was some miscommunication between you and your dentist. While the antibiotic is useful until the infection can be dealt with by a dentist, it does not eliminate the infection, as you have discovered. Once the antibiotic is completed, it doesn’t take long for the infection to rear its ugly head.

With a tooth infection, a dentist has to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp. This is typically done with either a root canal treatment or by extracting the whole tooth.

It is always better to save any tooth you can, so a root canal treatment would be the better choice if it is still possible.

If the Tooth Cannot be Saved

In the case that it has been too long and the tooth cannot be saved, it is important that you replace the tooth as quickly as possible. The longer that spot is left open, the more you will be dealing with the adjacent teeth shifting or tipping into that spot. This will throw off your bite leading to jaw pain, headaches, and even TMJ problems.

Ideally, you’ll want to have a dental implant for your replacement. It is the closest thing to having a natural tooth again. This will help you preserve the underlying bone. If that is not possible, there are other options such as a dental bridge or a removable partial denture.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.