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Maryrrf BS: Broken Molar - Pull it or Root Canal? (36) BS: Broken Molar - Pull it or Root Canal? 27 Feb 12

I haven't had many fillings in my life, and my teeth in general are good. A while back I noticed a loose filling the middle bottom molar on the left side. I put off going to the dentist, and one day while enjoying some popcorn part of it broke off. It didn't hurt, and I plugged it with temporary dental filling, which you can get in the drugstore. To save money, I went to the local dental school. They tried to do a root canal, but for some reason (possibly my extreme nervousness which I tried to control but I was shaking like a leaf) they could not numb the tooth. So, I went to a 'regular' dentist who promised the root canal would be painless (they give nitrous oxide). However, I will require a root canal plus a crown to the tune of $2000 which I really can't afford right now.

When I mention the possibility of just pulling the molar the dentists all recoil in horror and say I should keep the tooth at any price, saying that it will cause the rest of my teeth to shift, sunken jaw, the upper molar will grow out of control, etc. I know a few people who have lost molars and none of this happened, but trolling the internet there are people who say they did have problems of that nature after losing a molar.

I don't know if the dentists all oppose simple extraction because a root canal and crown are more lucrative, or if really there are all these complications.   An extraction is around $100 as opposed to $2000. They say if I extract it I'll need an implant or a bridge, but will I, or would it be so difficult to manage without one molar? How much effect does the loss of a molar really have long term on one's dental health?

So, what do y'all think?

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