Nancy’s Dental Implant Story
Nancy’s situation is one we encounter often. She had a root canal to treat decay that was causing her considerable pain. Root canal treatment involves removing the infected nerve of the tooth and placing root filling material within the empty nerve canal. This treatment worked very well for a number of years, but then Nancy noticed pain and a slight swelling around the gum tissue of the tooth. She returned to her family dentist who had performed the root canal, and he believed the tooth was suffering from a gum and bone problem.
After examining Nancy’s teeth, we thought the gum and bone loss around her infected tooth stemmed from an underlying gum disease problem associated with that tooth, or there was a chance the tooth root could be fractured.
Nancy was given two options:
- have her dentist or an endodontist (root canal specialist) re-treat the root canal; or
- have a periodontist remove the tooth, clean and graft the socket, and replace it with an implant.
Nancy had two concerns:
- finances; and,
- she wanted a treatment that would definitely rid her of the infection
Because of her expressed desires, we recommended exploring the area to confirm a root fracture. Nancy agreed to this approach. Surgical findings indeed revealed a root fracture rendering the tooth non-salvageable. The tooth was removed and an implant was immediately placed. Three months later, Nancy saw her dentist and had the implant restored with a new, permanent crown that functioned just as her previous tooth did in its healthy state