Is a recent toothache a reason for an extraction? I moved here from Connecticut in July, so I haven’t had time to search out a dentist like I want thoroughly. I’ve had a lower jaw and toothache on the back left side of my mouth for two weeks. The pain comes and goes. I went to a nearby dentist who took an x-ray. She said that a molar that already has a filling in it has a large cavity. She recommends pulling the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant.
Does this sound right? I had no idea this was happening with the tooth because the pain started only two weeks ago, and it comes and goes. I haven’t had a throbbing toothache or significant discomfort in other ways. Thanks. – Victoria
Victoria – If the pain in your tooth just started, the tooth has only recently become infected. If a dentist cannot save the tooth, it would be more likely that you would have felt pain months ago. The tooth may be badly broken or decayed, and a dentist may think it is unsavable. Or, the dentist may want to remove the tooth rather than try to save it because of its condition and the time it would take to restore it.
It is best to seek a second opinion without telling the second dentist about the diagnosis from the first dentist. Your independent second opinion should include an X-ray to determine the tooth’s condition. A dentist or endodontist may be able to save the tooth with root canal treatment. Otherwise, you may get a recommendation for an extraction and dental implant.
We advise patients to get second opinions before agreeing to significant treatment that is costly or will impact their oral health. For example, a missing tooth can lead to other concerns, including teeth drifting out of place and creating a need for braces to realign them.