Theriot Family Dental

How Long Can I Wait For a Dental Implant?

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About nine years ago my dentist placed a crown on a tooth and then thought maybe it needed a root canal treatment but didn’t want to do the treatment through the dental crown. Recently, the crown broke and the tooth underneath it is quite decayed. He doesn’t think the tooth can be saved and wants to send me to an oral surgeon to pull the tooth and then have me come back for a dental bridge in three months. I’ve since learned a dental implant will probably be a better replacement from a friend but it is more expensive and I may have to save up. How long is safe to wait?


Dear Kelly,

Dental Bridge and Dental implant

I am having some doubts about the skill level of your dentist. First, he doesn’t think about the possibility of needing a root canal treatment until after he puts on the dental crown, then he’s too lazy to go back and do what needs to be done so you don’t have problems down the road, now he’s not going to try to save the tooth? Before you move forward with this tooth extraction, I would like for you to get a second opinion, preferably from an endodontist (root canal specialist). It is always better to save any natural tooth structure possible.

If it turns out that this tooth cannot be saved, then you are correct that a dental implant is a much better tooth replacement. I wish your dentist had told you that by giving you all your options instead of you having to find out from a friend, but at least your friend was able to give you the information.

I wouldn’t wait three months for either the dental implant or dental bridge without putting some type of temporary replacement there to hold the space open during the duration. Otherwise, your other teeth will start to shift or tip into the space, which will throw off your bite. A dental flipper is probably your cheapest temporary option.

Hopefully, all of that is academic if it turns out that the endodontist can save your tooth.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.