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My Dentist and Oral Surgeon Cannot Agree



Junior member
Feb 18, 2014
Hi all,

I went to the dentist last month with an infected (non wisdom) tooth. The tooth was/is in the back of my mouth and has a crown on it. My regular dentist took one look at it and the xray (of just that one tooth) and said it should come out. He gave me antibiotics and set me up with the oral surgeon across the hall.
A week later I went to see the oral surgeon, by then my infection had gone. The oral surgeon took a full mouth x-ray OPG or something like that and said it was basically inconclusive. He tapped on the tooth and it didn’t hurt. He told me if it didn’t hurt and he couldn’t see an infection, he didn’t want to pull it. So I went home.

The next day the tooth next to it became very sensitive to cold drinks and mouth wash, and then the same with another tooth nearby. I went back to the oral surgeon who again said he was reluctant to pull. He said the tooth next to it had a large filling and may need a root canal.

So he sends me to a root canal guy (again across the hall) The root canal guy says he can’t see anything on the xray and he doesn’t think that’s the problem.

Now it feels like the original infected tooth might be acting up but I can’t tell because that whole side now hurts.

Bottom line. I am terrified I will now need a root canal and a pulled tooth or a bunch of pulled teeth.. Plus, I have lost confidence in all the dentists in this practice. I could really use some good advice and some thoughts from others as to what the problem might be.
Hi Todd,
I understand that you're worried and just want a straight answer to your questions but sometimes the answer isn't at all clear and this leads to conflicting advice.
The good news is that the surgeon and endodontist have NOT dived in and done the wrong treatment, they've advised you that they're not sure what the problem is and have advised additional opinions.
Sometimes the original problem will settle for a while but sometimes it will change in nature and then it becomes much more clear what the real underlying problem is.
My advice would be to ask the original dentist what it was that he/she saw on the first visit that led them to say the tooth needed removing.
The good news is that it's very unlikely that there's more than one problem: just try and avoid someone creating additional problems by treating an incorrect diagnosis.

Thank you very much for the reply. The original dentist saw a huge abesses(sp) and said it looked like a failed root canal because it was infected under the crown. But the oral surgeon said there should be a crack of some kind that would cause it hurt when he banged on it, which it didn't.

So I am at a loss (and in pain)

arg :(
in that case have the endodontist look at thew single tooth radiograph (as they show more detail than the panoramic) and see if he can see the huge abscess and failed rct.....hopefully they'll then be in agreement.

not sure what the OS guy means about the crack...sorry
Thank you again,

Could the problem in that one tooth be causing sensitivity to cold and mouth wash in nearby teeth?
possibly yes. Once there is infection in an area then it can make neighbouring teeth tender, achey or sensitive.