Do I need to have an implant or can I save the tooth with cleaning from the hygienist and the gum healing itself?

My upper left side no 7 molar is loose and if I bite on something hard it pains. My no 8 tooth, wisdom tooth, is missing. I have some gum disease. My dentist is suggesting removing the tooth and replacing it with an implant. I would struggle to afford such a procedure. I have an appointment with a hygienist shortly. What are my options going forwards please.

Doctor Answers 3

It's likely more involved...

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Glynis,    From what you describe, that tooth likely needs to be extracted. For an upper molar to be painful and loose there has to be a significant issue. Those teeth have three roots which makes them extra sturdy, so if it can be moved with biting or finger pressure it's in trouble. If you'd like to try to save it, you may need to undergo more invasive procedures than a cleaning. A periodontist may be able to perform a surgery to help remove the offending bacteria, add material that helps repair bony defects, and removes some of the depth of the gingival pocket around the tooth to allow you to have an easier time keeping it clean. These are still dental heroics in your case is my guess, and those procedures aren't cheap either. The good news is if you lose that tooth it may not affect you much, as that tooth naturally has the back half of it untouched by opposing teeth. It's never an esthetic issue, so if it doesn't alter your function much there are plenty of people who remove that tooth to get healthy but don't ever replace it with an implant. If you go this route you can apply the available funds to keeping the rest of your teeth from a similar fate with regular periodontal treatments.

Atlanta Dentist

Saving tooth with cleaning

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Hi, thank you for your question. I see you have periodontal disease and as you well know, the effects of periodontal disease is when your teeth become loose and reach the point of falling out. At the advanced stages of periodontal disease, regular hygiene treatment is just not enough. I would suggest that your periodontist reviews different treatment options that have different price points that can be beneficial to you and stay within your financial range. Good luck with your treatment!

Loose Molar

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If the tooth is loose and hurts the way you describe, it probably does need to be removed. Often times, if you have gum disease, there may not be enough bone in order to place an implant. That's something that would be determined after the tooth was removed and the area healed. You might even be ok without replacing it down the road.

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.