Tooth 4 Had Root Canal. Why Didn't My DDS Discuss Other Options With Me Before Drilling 2 Healthy Teeth?

Then broke, DDS removed temp filling and did build up, it was fine, then as she went to do crown Prep she said tooth broke at gum line and the only option I had was to have root extracted and then have a 3 crown bridge. She then drilled down the other 2 healthy teeth and extracted root which took 1/2 hr but came out in one piece. My question is I'm now being told she was wrong not to offer me other options that did not involve drilling two healthy teeth.

Doctor Answers 6

Good Dentists should inform all options to patients.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You are correct! Now, note that I am going only on the information you have provided. It is possible that due to anatomy of the jaw, you may not be a candidate for alternative treatment like an Implant, but you are entitled to be informed before your teeth are drilled. A removable option is also available that aviods drilling. 

Your dentist should have informed you of your options prior to cutting down those adjacent teeth. For example, an Implant supported crown would have avoided grinding on those teeth. There is no question that an Implant is by far a better treatment option than a bridge (what you are getting). You also could have elected to not replace the tooth (there are some long-term consequences of this) and just leave the space. A temporary removable (flipper) could have given you at least a way to have a tooth there while you decided what to to.

Why did she not give you the option? You will have to ask her, but some possible reasons: She is not trained in implants so she does not offer it to patients (she should have referred you so someone), she assumed you would not do an implant due to cost or additional surgery ( should not assume this), your insurance would not cover an implant so she assumed this is what you would do, an extraction and a bridge is more profitable for the dentist than a single unit implant supported crown.

Bottom line is there is not excuse for this. You should have been informed of your options and risks and benefits of each. Then you make up your mind as to what you want to do. This is grounds for potential legal action for lack of informed consent.

If in fact you were not properly informed prior to drilling on your healthy teeth then, you should question this and seek legal advise. I would also be hesitant about returning to that dentist.

Good luck

Dr. T

Miami Beach Dentist

Why Didn't My Dentist Discuss Other Options With Me Before Drilling Two Healthy Teeth?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

When there is a tooth missing, it needs to be replaced to prevent a whole list of other problems (too long for this post).

Traditionally, there are two main options to permanently replace a missing tooth. One is a "bridge"- a porcelain series of permanent teeth connected together to be fitted and cover the teeth.

The other option is often times a dental implant can be placed, After it heals, then a special post (called an abutment) is connected to the implant, and then a permanent crown can be fitted to that post.

Any time you have a doubt about the care from your dentist, first, in a calm manner- ask them. Often times an implant is preferred, but not always. There are times when a bridge is actually a more sensible option. 

I answer questions like this a lot. The real issue is not so much which dental treatment is theoretically better, the real question is which treatment fits YOU the best. It might not be the same option that a friend or neighbor had.

Be open minded- ask YOUR dentist about what's right for you.


Bridge vs implant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is the duty of the medical/dental professional to inform you of all your options.  When a tooth is unsalvageable and the adjacent teeth are healthy the first choice is to replace it with a dental implant, it can also be replaced with a full coverage conventional bridge, a maryland bridge or a removable type partial denture.  If in fact this was not explained then I would suggest you contact the dental board of your state of residence and seek council.  It is with mixed feelings I make this suggestion, but I have a duty to uphold the standard of the profession and it is still too common for clinicians to try to keep procedures in house to preserve revenues.

Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Other Options for tooth replacement

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If a tooth it is not in a good condition and is better to extract it. Options are always given to the patient:

1- Extraction + Implant placement

2- Extraction + 3 Unit bridge (if the adjacent teeth are completly healthy, option not recommended)

3- Extraction + removable prosthetic

Most patients go for an implant because it last longer and looks great. Dental implants, on the other hand, are a permanent tooth replacement solution. Dental implants prevent jawbone deterioration because the pontic is attached to an artificial tooth root that is actually implanted in the bone. Dental implants also do not increase your vulnerability to tooth decay as bridges sometimes can.

Always ask your options before moving forward with treatment, never feel shy about it


Pamela Marzban, DDS
Fairfax Dentist

Miscommunication via dentist and patient

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Based solely on the information you have provided it sounds like you were not fully informed of your options.  It appears that you would have been a better candidate for a dental implant if your bone would support it.  Unfortunately the procedure is not reversible but you can still have an implant placed and have 3 single crowns.  I would discuss your concerns with your dentist.  Sorry to hear you are in the situation.

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It looks like your doctor made an assesment and decision for you. The reason why is known only to your dentist and in order to get an answer you should talk directly to her. I am sure she had a good reason for that.

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist

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.