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Dr. Behere
Dr. Behere, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 2844
Experience:  Masters degree, years of experience with all kinds of dental problems.
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Top last left tooth. Previously crowned many years ago. Now

Customer Question

Top last left tooth. Previously crowned many years ago. Now told abscess need root canal or implant if the referred endodontist recommends. A close friend who is dental hygienist told me that if I have that tooth pulled only I should be fine. I am 64 & don't want to go through a lot if not needed. She said everything won't shift with that particular tooth gone. Others would be an issue re. shifting etc
Your thoughts & unbiased expertise please.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Behere replied 1 year ago.


Thanks for putting up your question on Just Answer.

A tooth that has an abscess presents with two options:

1. A root canal followed by a crown. An important question to be asked before you spend this money, is if there is enough good tooth material remaining that will support a crown. If the final post-root canal restoration cannot guarantee that this tooth will remain in your mouth for a minimum of 5 years, then it is better to have the tooth removed and to spend money to replace the missing tooth, either by implants or a three unit bridge.

2. Get the tooth removed. This is the cheaper option, but unfortunately the resulting missing space will cause the tooth behind it to slowly shift their positions and drift into the space. These unnatural teeth positions can cause problems of food lodgement leading to periodontal disease, and TMJ problems due to abnormal teeth interlocking.

I would personally always suggest that a patient should retain the tooth and get the root canal followed by a crown.


In your case however, given your age and the fact that it is the 2nd or 3rd molar that we are talking about, and also your statement that you would like to avoid a lot of treatment, I agree with your hygienist , you can safely get it pulled.

Hope this answers your question.Please leave a positive rating for me if this answer has helped you. I do not get credit for it otherwise.

Good Luck !

Dr. Behere

Expert:  Dr. Behere replied 1 year ago.


Im just following up ! Did my answer help? If yes, please leave a positive rating for me. I do not get credit for it otherwise !

If you have any further question, do write back!

Dr. Behere