I have a split tooth but the x-ray reveals a healthy root…my doc want to extract and I want him to save it! How do I convince a dentist to try something new like that described in your paper? Dentists seem to want to extract to solve all problems, use scare tactics and it’s hard to believe they are not doing it for the money since much more expense is involved in an extraction and insertion of a new tooth….I want to keep as much of me together as long as I can!!!
Mike from West Virginia
This is one thing I worry about when I give patients these answers to their dental questions, that they will take this information and go back to their dentist and try to “convince” the dentist of one thing or another, or tell the dentist how to make their cosmetic dentistry more beautiful, or tell the dentist what type of filling or crown they want, different from what the dentist recommends. That will not work. The purpose of this website isn’t to help patients educate or change their dentist. What you need instead is to find a dentist with a philosophy that you are more comfortable with.
You aren’t going to convince your dentist to save this split tooth if he has told you that he wants to extract it. It would be misguided of us to even have me personally call your dentist and convince him to save it. I couldn’t do that because I haven’t examined you and for all I know maybe that is the only option here. But there are dentists who are strongly inclined toward saving teeth, and other dentists simply don’t want to do that. And this philosophy permeates their practice at many levels. If a dentist wants to save teeth at all costs, for example, he or she will need to spend focused study on the techniques for saving teeth, dealing with cracks in teeth, what to do for failed root canal treatments, advanced periodontal techniques, and a whole host of things. At the other end of the spectrum, if a dentist just wants to take out problem teeth then they won’t go through all that extra trouble. What point is there, then, trying to convince a dentist to save this tooth when he probably doesn’t even know how?
But it is not true that “dentists” in general just want to extract teeth. There is a wide variety of inclinations here. And I firmly believe, from my experience with the dental profession, that the vast majority of dentists are highly ethical people who honestly try to do the best for their patients. They have varying levels of skills and different philosophies. And if you have cause to believe that your dentist is just in this for the money, then you need to find a different dentist. There is no way to work around this trust issue. There is no way, as a patient, that you can check up on your dentist to make sure he is making the right decisions for your teeth. In this situation of yours, even I, as another dental professional, don’t know enough about your case to be able to say if your dentist is doing the right thing or not. You HAVE to be able to trust him. If you don’t, then find another dentist.
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