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    Thread: Abcess under crown is extraction always necessary?

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Dec 2006
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      Default Abcess under crown is extraction always necessary?

      Hi
      First time here so hope I am in the right place!
      Last week I had chronic pain from an abcess under a gold crown on my upper tooth (think it is a molar!) I had to see a different dentist at my practice who was less than sympatheitc to my dental phobia and after much tutting & sighing & telling me how bad my dental hygiene is she said the gold crown would have to come out in 4 days after a course of anti biotics. Needless to say she made me feel extremely belittled (& I do clean my teeth twice daily & floss!) so much for the effort my dentist has put in to trying to overcome my fears etc. she did this away in 5 minutes.
      She asked me if the crown was root filled as she couldnt see on the Xray but I cant remember as I have several root fillings, I would of thought before you go pulling teeth you should know what you are dealing with & if it is the only option.
      My concern here is that after 4 days of Amoxycillin the tooth has calmed down, so does the crown & root filling really need to be removed asap as she indicated or have I time to get a secondary opinion?

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Jan 2006
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      Hi, and welcome!

      I hope you ARE in the right place - 'cos if you aren't - then maybe neither am I!

      Supposing that the tooth has not previously been root filled, if you are interested in saving the tooth - and it sounds like you are (Good!) then it may be possible to deal with the abscess by root filling the tooth. I say 'may' because there other factors involved. We can deal with these later, but for now lets look at why you have the abscess and pain, and why antibiotics have helped.

      The usual reason for placing a crown on a tooth is to reinforce the tooth as it has been broken down by decay, failed fillings etc. Every filling that is done to a tooth places the living element of the tooth under strain - ie the pulp which resides in the root canal system. Eventually after so many fillings, a bit of decay, another larger filling etc etc the pulp says "I have had enough!" and decides to cop it. In marriage terms this is like asking for a divorce. I have not yet had the experience of having one of my teeth root filled, but I have the other - both painful in their own way, usually require a long term commitment of some sort - but root canal is probably cheaper. Forgive me, I'm off on one again! Anyway the nerve loses the will to live and dies. The by products of this is a bunch of mush in your root canal system which is full of bacteria and the beginnings of infection. If it were a cut on your hand say, the body could deal with this by forming scar tissue and healing in the normal way... but the dead nerve tissue is trapped within the confines of your tooth and the body can do little about it. The infection spreads and begins to form an abscess underneath the tooth - fed by the bacteria and the dead tissue within the tooth. This spreading infection takes up space in the bone and leads to feelings of pressure amongst others - if you bite on the tooth you effectively push the tooth into the abscess and you get more pain. "Ouch"

      You can see a picture of an abscess under an incisor here...

      Antibiotics do essentially what it says on the tin - they kill off the bacteria within the abscess (they also do other things like giving you the runs and interfering with the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive pill, but thats another story..) The abscess gets smaller as a result and once more you can bite on the tooth. Unfortunately you still have that dead matter within the tooth waiting for you to stop taking the antibiotics so that it can return to building the abscess. So antibiotics are only effective in the short term - sometimes weeks - sometimes longer. The dead tissue within the tooth needs to be dealt with by your dentist. This can be achieved by either removing the infected dead stuff by root canal treatment, or by extracting the tooth.

      Long story cut short - you have time to get this looked at by a more empathic dentist, and have the reasons for and against either treatment explained to you, and the likely prognosis for each. If you have root canal work you will probably need a new crown - you may need a referal to a specialist endodontist if the root canal work looks at all tricky. If you have the tooth out then you may need a denture in the future... or an implant or somesuch.

      Hope this helps (My nurse doubtless would have kicked me ages ago for being too long winded, but thats just my way!)

      Take care *

      Pars
      Follow us on Twitter.. ! http://twitter.com/Kent_Dentist

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Dec 2006
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      Thanks Pars!

      The explanantion regarding my tooth helps me understand what has gone on! The additional info re pain/expense/divorce was also interesting & brought a smile to my face which is a rarity when the topic is teeth or dentists!

      I think the tooth is already root filled, this new dentist lady assumed it was although she wasnt sure from my xray.......I didnt like to suggest the obvious & check my notes on the computer she had alongside her since all my adult work has been at that practice!

      So, if it is root filled already can it be re-root filled? I have got my head around losing it if I have to but dont fancy my chances with this lady!

      My plan is to try to get through Xmas/new year & locate a new dental practise where I will be treated as a person rather than a 15 min slot for a filling! I have been going every 6 months for years but my small amount of faith in my existing practice has gone out of the window after this last visit & I am back to where I started with my fears & I dont want to go down the road of not going for years on end again.

    4. #4
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      Where is the dentist that you saw before you met up with this lady?

      A previously rootfilled tooth can be re root treated, yes. Chances of success are usually slightly less to be realistic. But it can be done - again maybe a specialist referral for optimum results.

      It might appear rude of you to ask if she would check the x-rays - but it is your mouth after all. You are paying them to help you and you are worth a decent standard of care. A fresh x-ray may have been appropriate too. But bear in mind I can't see your teeth or assess the condition of your mouth otherwise.

      Vote with your feet I'd say.

      Follow us on Twitter.. ! http://twitter.com/Kent_Dentist

    5. #5
      Join Date
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      My dentist at the practice is now part time ready to retire next year so I was going to have to look elsewhere & I think this new lady is taking a lot of his work.

      She had a new Xray done that day but the abcess she showed me was pretty big, the cloud thing was above 3 teeth !

      I appreciate without seeing my teeth etc it is hard for any judgement to be made regarding my problem! my concern was having to continue with the extraction right away as she wants to do or if I had some breathing space before this flares up again as it seems it will with my new found knowledge on a tooth abcess! & I think from the info you've given me I have a few weeks to follow this up.

      thanks for putting my mind at ease!

    6. #6
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      You are welcome.

      If you're going away over the festive season however, it might be worth having some antibiotics handy just in case it does flare up and you can't find a dentist at short notice.

      btw - it was an upper tooth? The cloudy thing might just be your nasal sinus... just a thought. Had a cold or flu lately?

      Follow us on Twitter.. ! http://twitter.com/Kent_Dentist

    7. #7
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      Agree with Pars that if the dentist you get on with is about to retire and you're stuck with her instead, its time to look elsewhere....personally though I'd start looking straightaway and not put it off until the New Year.

      If he's still working part-time, could you persuade him to treat this one tooth for you...ask for a second opinion/play up the phobia? Offer to see him privately if you don't already.

      They may have all their fancy professional etiquette rules which the front desk will try to fob you off with but I think you have a right to ask to see the dentist you thought you were registered with, for a second opinion.
      [smiley=grouphug.gif]
      It's the 21st Century.......dentistry can and should be painless but we patients come unstuck because all dentists are not created equal

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Oct 2005
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      Hi & I also agree with Pars & Brit. My parents are in the same situation, thier dentist has gone part-time and turned his practice over to his female partner. They still have the option to see him, if they need too. They are however keeping thier options open, to seek a new dentist, as the female dentist does not have the best rep. with compassionate care. I would first see if it is possible to see the dentist that you saw in the past. If not than I would start looking for a more caring dentist that you feel comfortable with. Start looking now, as you do not want to wait too long and be uncomfortable for the holidays.

      Keep us posted

    9. #9
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      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      Quote Originally Posted by freakout
      Hi & * * *My parents are in the same situation, thier dentist has gone part-time and turned his practice over to his female partner. *They are however keeping thier options open, to seek a new dentist, as the female dentist does not have the best rep. with compassionate care. *
      Hi Freakout
      Isn't this a no brainer for your parents? Why don't they go to your dentist instead? Hope your boss enjoyed himself by the way and that you get sorted soon...it will be okay by Xmas...it will .
      It's the 21st Century.......dentistry can and should be painless but we patients come unstuck because all dentists are not created equal

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Oct 2005
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      1,731

      Default Re: Abcess under crown is extraction always necess

      Hi Brit...My parents are attached to the hygentists at thier current dentist's office. *They (the hygentists) have told them, that if they decide to move on to another practice they will let them know where they go to. *My parents do not like the cubicle style of my dentist's office (which took some getting used too ) They like private rooms. And also a slower paced practice.

      It was actually a little interesting seeing my boss preparing to go to the dentist. He even looked a little nervous. I had a little fun though Everytime I go, he tells me to have fun and enjoy myself. So as he was leaving for his appointment, I repaid the favor

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