Tooth Resorption questions

Apr 27, 2016
My son (17) had braces for a couple of years and has had them off now for nearly three years. He still uses his invisalign type retainers at night.

The ortho (a wonderful man) spent lots of time worrying about these lower molars and one upper molar that just would not erupt fully. He sent us to a oral surgeon (also a great guy) who manipulated both of those teeth and the one on the top to push/twist them toward full eruption. Not sure what the procedure is called, but it sounds worse than it is. The one on the top turned out great, and one on the bottom also successful. The other on the bottom just refused to cooperate.

Flash forward, both the lower molars in question have been diagnosed with "root resorption." Regular dentist sent us to an endo who concurred that they were beyond saving and would eventually need to come out. Good grief. We do not have the money to pay for implants, even with insurance. The teeth are asymptomatic at this time. No pain, functioning properly, brushed and flossed three times a day.

Endo says just watch them and it could be years for them to become truly problematic. Dentist wants to pull NOW.

What happens if we just don't do anything at all? Will the body simply "eat" the tooth?

Will these teeth just be like wisdom teeth back there, no roots but not really causing trouble?

If we have them pulled, I cannot afford to replace them. Can his retainers hold everything in place to keep things from shifting after these teeth are removed?

I'm embarrassed to admit to our dentist that we don't have the money to pay for all this stuff, but, even with the excellent dental insurance we have, it will only cover 60% of the cost. Plus, we have an annual limit of $2500 per person. Even with that truly decent coverage, we are looking at thousands of dollars at a point in our lives when we've got to save every dime toward college!

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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