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Dr. K.
Dr. K., Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4527
Experience:  Board certified with experience in primary care.
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I have only one lower back tooth, I think this is what you

Resolved Question:

I have only one lower back tooth, I think this is what you call a molar, the others were removed when I was a child and I did not grow more. I have been having problems with this tooth, which is capped with a gold overlay, from time to time for a couple of years and it is now both painful and lose. I saw a local dentist, who said the pain was due to an infection and I began taking antibiotics which has soothed away the pain, however, the tooth remains lose. My dentist said the best option would be to remove the tooth and have a partial denture fitted. However, I tried many years ago to wear a denture for the teeth missing on the other side and was unable to keep it in. An implant has been suggested, which on the face of it, would seem the best option, or at least I thought so until it came to the cost, I was quoted a figure of £3000 for this single tooth, surely, there must be a cheaper option. Can you help?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 3 years ago.

Dr. K. :

Hello, this is Dr K.. Answers are not medical advice and do not constitute a doctor/patient relationship. I look forward to helping you today.

Dr. K. :

This tooth is a molar and is infected. Since it is loose, the root is infected and it cannot be saved.

Dr. K. :

You do have the option of having the tooth pulled and not replaced at all.

Dr. K. :

Most people do tend to accomodate by chewing more and being careful of food choices.

Dr. K. :

Let me know what questions you have.

Customer:

What about the implant option and how expensive is it?

Dr. K. :

The implant is an option if you actually need/want a tooth there. The cost will vary greatly from dentist to dentist. It is considered similar to a cosmetic surgery so they can charge what they want. What city are you in and do you have dental coverage at all?

Customer:

I am NHS patient, but this tooth is the last of my bottom molars, if I lose this one, the only option is a denture and I simply cannot wear one, I tried for over two years with one a long time ago, but without success. I guess this means I lose the tooth and grin and bear it ? The NHS removed two perfectly good molars when I was a kid, believing others would grow to replace them, but that didn't happen, no X rays in those days. Do you have anymore suggestions before I have the tooth removed?

Dr. K. :

Ah that happens. When baby molars are removed, often adult ones do not grow in.

Dr. K. :

People can also have baby molars for life. I dont think you have any other options now that the tooth is loose, the root is not healthy. If you only have one molar, there is nothing to grind against and its really not doing you much good anyway. You are very likely to adapt without it and without replacing it. I would try that first

Customer:

I'm sorry, you misunderstand, it is of great use to me, I have all my other teeth, the top set is complete so I have been chewing normally. Is your answer still the same?

Dr. K. :

Do you have a molar on the top that is opposite it?

Dr. K. :

Unfortunately even if you are using it , it has to come out. so yes the answer is the same.

Dr. K. :

You really run significant risk of infection and losing other teeth without the treatment

Customer:

Yes, I have a top molar opposite, as I said, the top set is fully complete without loss. The only teeth that are missing are my lower molars, two lost as a child and one to H.M. forces dentist in my twenties. However, I think you have offered your best advice, unless you can offer a miracle cure, I think the sun has set on my molars and I shall now have it extracted. You are certain nothing more can be done?

Dr. K. :

No theres no other choice. What I was getting at is that if you have no opposing tooth, meaning the lower molar is missing, theres nothing to grind against. I think you need the tooth extracted. :(

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