- Oct 11, 2007
I was hoping zz would be able to elaborate more on how long it takes for any bone loss to be apparent if only one tooth is removed (if this happens at all with only one tooth).
Zz can you confirm how long between tooth removal and bone loss - months, years, or never for one tooth?
Bone loss does vary from person to person, but an extraction of a upper second molar probably results in an erosion of that area over several years as in like anywhere between 5 and 10 (?). Some people have incredibly robust bone which doesn't seem to care whether the teeth are present or not, but typically when the teeth are taken out, the bone does tend to follow. I don't do dental implants so one would have to consult a dentist that does them to determine whether waiting would be an issue.
In regards to whether a tooth is worthwhile restoring, the patient should definitely be in on the decision, but honestly the dentist is often the one who makes that determination as most patients aren't able to in some cases. It's not a matter of money for the dentist, but rather advising the patient on how best their money can be spent and what the expected outcomes are. A lot of the time, dentists give patients all of the options as well as the pro's and con's, but patients just aren't able to decide. There are dentally sound decisions that have to be taken, and those are what dentists usually recommend.
For example, if a dying tooth is on it's last legs, restoring it with a root canal, core buildup, post, pins, and crown would be highly questionable. It's not a matter of money but whether the treatment makes sense.
If someone insists on fixing a hopeless tooth that probably will fall out the next day, I would send them along to the next dentist regardless of the money. There's no personal reward in receiving payment for something that isn't sound dentally for me. There can be exceptions like that wedding the next day or whatever, but what I'm saying is that the choice isn't always up to the patient. In some cases the only option available is an extraction, like it or not. Money can't change that.