Theriot Family Dental

Options for an Infected Tooth

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I have a tooth, which previously had a filling, start to bother me. I went back to my dentist and he said the tooth is infected and wants to extract it. I hate the idea of having a missing tooth. Are there other options for dealing with a tooth infection?


Dear Lisa,

woman grabbing her jaw in need of an emergency dentist

I don’t understand why your dentist is not giving you all your options. There is more than one way to attack a tooth infection. In fact, he is legally obligated to do so and it worries me that he isn’t. If the tooth is savable, you should do everything to try and save it. Granted some dentists try harder than others to preserve natural tooth structure, but that doesn’t mean you should be left without an option.

Generally, when a tooth is infected, the first thing we try is a root canal treatment. This would be my first course of action. There are times when a tooth is beyond that, but you haven’t said anything to me that would indicate that. Granted, I have not examined you. My suggestion is that you get a second opinion about the chances for your tooth.

Replacing a Lost Tooth

If it turns out that your tooth cannot be saved, you do not have to walk around like a toothless hillbilly from the Great Depression. These days we have fantastic tooth replacement options. The best one is a dental implant. It’s like having a healthy natural tooth in your mouth again. It is an advanced procedure that is not adequately taught in dental school.

If you go that route, I want you to make certain you go to a dentist who has invested in a significant amount of post-doctoral training in this procedure specifically. The most advanced implant dentists will be fellows with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI).

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.