I had a tooth (pre-molar) removed and am getting it replaced. The tooth broke off and the root is still in there. He tried to get it out, but had trouble. He said they’ll need to do it another time if I decide to have it out. However, the root is on a nerve and he said that I am risking paralysis to have it removed. Now I’m terrified. I was planning on getting a dental implant, but I guess that won’t be possible if I leave the root. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
When a tooth is extracted a dental implant is the top of the line replacement. In order to get the implant you were planning to get though, you will need to have the root removed. As you can see from the image above, the dental crown is attached to a prosthetic root. As far as the nerve goes, your dentist used a poor choice of words. Paralysis is not going to happen.
He may be over-exaggerating risks because of the litigious nature we live in at the moment. So, they warn of everything, even if it is only remotely possible. In this case, instead of paralysis, what you would be concerned about is losing sensation. The mental foramen nerve is in that area and can cause loss of feeling in the lip and chin. That is not the same as paralysis.
So, what are the risks of this actually happening during your extraction? Truthfully, it is very easy for the surgeon to see this foramen nerve on an x-ray. It’s also simple for them to find it surgically. A decent surgeon will have no issues avoiding this nerve during the procedure. In my mind, there is minimal risk.
Replacements After Your Tooth Extraction
As I mentioned earlier, if you want the dental implant, you will need to remove the root. There are other good tooth replacement options, which would not require the root to be removed at all is a dental bridge. With a bridge, you have a false tooth suspended between two dental crowns.
This option makes more sense if your adjacent teeth need work. If they’re going to have crowns placed, then you might as well get a bridge. If they’re not, then a dental implant would preserve the tooth structure on the remaining teeth.
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