Last summer, my bottom right wisdom tooth cracked. A corner came off when it broke, and since that time, small pieces have been falling off. Now, only the back wall of the tooth remains. I can see the tooth pulp decreasing, and my tooth is extremely sensitive. I regret not listening to my pediatric dentist when I was 17 because she told me to get the teeth extracted. She said they were growing in crooked and would become painful if I didn’t do something about it. Of course, I never had the teeth extracted. Will this wisdom tooth fall out, or will I need a dentist to remove it? I’ve only been working part time since COVID, so my funds are limited. Thanks. Reuben from MS
Although your decaying wisdom tooth will eventually fall out, it’s best to have a dentist extract it. An infection can get into your jawbone and cause an abscess. You can avoid discomfort and pain by asking for an extraction.
Sensitivity in a Dying Tooth
You mentioned that your tooth pulp is disappearing. We aren’t sure what you mean by that, but perhaps your tooth pulp was exposed, became infected, and died. When tooth pulp is dead, you can still feel sensitivity when biting. But the tooth pulp is alive if you feel sensitive to cold or air. Although root canal treatment might save a tooth, a dentist must examine your tooth to see its condition.
If you don’t have any swelling around your jaw, tooth extraction isn’t an emergency. But if you see or feel swelling, see a dentist right away. Lower wisdom teeth that have an infection are easier to access, numb, and extract.
What If You Can’t Afford to Have a Wisdom Tooth Removed?
If you can’t afford to have a wisdom tooth extracted, consider these options:
- You might be able to find a free dental clinic that takes emergency appointments for people who don’t have dental insurance or who have little money. Search online for a free dental clinic near you.
- Some dental offices offer payment plans or a dental savings plan that offers discounted fees
- You might qualify for CareCredit financing and make monthly payments to pay for care.
For our readers: Our comments apply to wisdom teeth. A dentist will handle the situation differently if you’re having problems with a non-wisdom tooth. Missing teeth will cause other teeth to drift and affect your bite.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA dentist, sponsors this post. Please read our financial policies on our website.