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Crowns, Bridges, Dentures, Implants

Options for Missing Tooth

11/16/2005

Question:

Recently I was told that I may lose tooth number 5 which already has a root canal and crown. The crown has been loose for a couple months and my dentist thinks the root may be fractured but won`t know for sure until the crown is removed. This tooth is adjacent to a three tooth bridge so another bridge is probably not an option. My situation is complicated because I have a chronic neurological disease and I take many prescription drugs. A month ago I had a swollen painful area above my right eye tooth that required antibiotics and finally surgery. It was an infection, not in the tooth or gum but in the bone, it puzzled three dentists, an endontist, periodontist and oral surgeon, no one knew what caused it and although it is much improved I still have some slight swelling and tenderness in the spot. The dentist and oral surgeon said I should consider an implant for the tooth number 5 which I may lose but with all the unusual circumstances in my situation I wonder if this is my best option?

Answer:

In my opinion, it should be strongly considered, if you can tolerate the surgery. The only other options are probably not as ideal: a removable partial denture or remove the tooth and do nothing.

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Response by:

Nancy L Clelland, DMD, MSD Nancy L Clelland, DMD, MSD
Professor of Restorative & Prosthetic Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University