I had a case called dent in denti (tooth within a tooth). This strange tooth got an abscess and wasn’t subsiding with antibiotics. I had a root canal done and then had the tooth extracted. Now what are my options?
Victoria, from Victoria, Australia
You refer to a condition called dens in dente, which in Latin means “tooth within a tooth”, and what happens is you have a deep pit, almost like an inverted small tooth, that grows within another tooth, almost always a lateral incisor. A dentist should pick this up on routine x-rays and fix it before it gets to be a problem, and if so, it will require a simple filling. In my practice, I would clean out the pit really well and then fill it and seal it over with a white composite filling, and the issue was done.
But if it isn’t caught preventively, the pit can decay, and since the pit goes very deep into the tooth, the cavity will progress quickly to an infected tooth, requiring a root canal treatment.
Anyway, this tooth has been extracted, and you need it replaced. That can be done with either a dental implant, a dental bridge, or a removable partial denture. The cheapest replacement would be with a dental flipper.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.