My Root Canal Tooth Got Infected
Posted by AllSmiles
Last September, I had an infected root canal tooth, and the whole thing eventually failed. My dentist tried to save the tooth again, but he couldn’t. So last week I agreed to an extraction. It’s a front tooth, too. I’m going back and forth with whether to replace it with a dental bridge or an implant. And I’m not sure if I will let my dentist do the work or if I will find a new dentist to do it. I know that anyone can make a mistake, but I am nervous about how things would turn out with my dentist. Can you give me some things to consider for replacing the tooth? – Ezra from Boston
Thank you for your question.
What Are Your Options After Root Canal Infection and Failure?
After root canal failure, a dentist or root canal specialist may be able to repeat treatment. An endodontist is a root canal specialist, and some dentists refer patients to a specialist for further treatment. But when a dentist extracts your tooth after a repeat root canal, it requires replacement with a dental implant or a dental bridge.
- Dental implant considerations: No work is required on the teeth on either side of the missing one. A dentist will surgically place the implant and put a temporary crown on it until the implant and your jawbone fuse, which takes about four months. Dental implants are generally more expensive than a dental bridge, but implants can last 20 years or longer. The implant will look and feel like a natural tooth.
- Dental bridge considerations: The bridge work will likely be less expensive than an implant. Your dentist must shave down the tooth on either side of the missing one so that the crown on each end of the bridge can cover the tooth. The replacement tooth sits between the end crowns.
In either case, consider an artistic cosmetic dentist. You will get a natural-looking result whether you choose the dental implant or the bridge. If you choose the implant, avoid looking for cheap implants or insisting on getting the lowest cost for them. Costly implant mistakes can occur when shortcuts are taken. Schedule a consultation with an implant dentist to discuss your options.
Chandler, Arizona, dentist Dr. William Walden sponsors this post.