Thank you for offering this service; knowing that there are services like this available is a real comfort. I am a forty-one year old male and am a US expat who has been living Korea since 2007. I have been getting regular cleanings and check-ups here, but I need some advice on a possible implant that is being recommended to me.
The problem tooth is the second from back lower right molar. The tooth was capped about ten years ago while I was living in the U.S. About six or seven months I was experiencing a lot of pain with the tooth and I visited a dentist. Panoramic x-rays showed that there was an infection at the root and bone connection which look to be about the size of a pencil eraser. At that time, the dentist recommended an implant. The dentist also gave me a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers. The infection went away and so did the pain, so I did not follow-up on the implant recommendation. I was a little leery of taking the first recommendation and was also a little concerned about losing the remaining part of a real tooth.
About a week ago I started to notice some slight pain in the same location. I know I should have immediately gone to the dentist, but I delayed until the pain was so great that I couldn’t wait any longer. I went to a different dentist this time, got the same x-ray results, and received the same advice; remove the tooth and get an implant. The doctor went to Boston U, so I was able to ask him if there was any way to save the tooth. He said that because of the location of the infection and the three root structure of the tooth that I really should follow through with the implant. He also prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. I am on my third day of medication with one day remaining and can feel that the infection is improving.
My concern is that I have been told that keeping real teeth is always the preferred treatment. Are they rushing me into an implant? Is it possible to manage any future infection with antibiotics and keep the tooth? I would rather simply manage the infection than lose the tooth. I am concerned about the location of the infection, however. Could the infection be causing bone deterioration? I know that eventually I’m going to have to get an implant, so if this is causing damage to the bone it could possibly make an implant more difficult. Not to mention possible major surgery on the bone itself.
What would you recommend from this description and my concerns? Keep treating the infection as it occurs and keep the tooth? Go ahead with the implant? I would really like to keep the tooth for as long as possible, but I also don’t want to cause damage to the bone or facial structure.
Thank you so much for your help.