I had a tooth start hurting about two weeks ago. I’ll be honest and say I don’t have a regular dentist. I wish I could say it was because of finances but it isn’t. I’m just a total coward when it comes to dentists. When I went to see him, he did an x-ray then told me there is a tooth that already has a filling which has severe decay underneath and the tooth is too far gone to save. He’ll need to extract it. He said I can replace it with a dental implant or bridge, but he thinks a dental implant is better. In the meantime, he’s given me a prescription antibiotic and scheduled my extraction. I can’t even begin to tell you how terrified I am about this. Do you think this is my best course of action?
I am concerned about the treatment your dentist is suggesting. If your tooth was that far gone, it should have started hurting much before two weeks ago. In addition, he wouldn’t have needed an x-ray to know the tooth was that bad off. It would be collapsing in on itself, that includes the filling practically falling in to the decay.
I think you need a second opinion. I always recommend patients get a blind second opinion. This means you will not want to tell the second opinion dentist who treated you and what diagnosis they gave you. Just tell them about the pain and let them decide about the tooth.
A Word About Dental Anxiety
I know you called yourself a coward, but I don’t think that is the total story. Many patients who struggle with dental anxiety do so because of a traumatic experience they had at the dentist’s usually during childhood. That’s not cowardice. That’s a good memory.
I don’t want you to put off your second opinion out of fear, in case there is a tooth infection. These are considered dental emergencies. Because of that, I think you should see a dentist who offers sedation options. This will allow you to have your procedure done while completely relaxing you and giving you a pain-free appointment.
This could actually change your entire relationship with dentistry.
This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.