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NHS prefer extractions to root canals...?



Feb 2, 2013
Crewe, UK
Okay, my appointment is in 25 hours and I have read somewhere that NHS dentists usually extract more teeth than perform root canal treatments because it is more cost effective and time efficient Is this true? If so, I am now dreading my appointment even more. I know I am preparing for the worst but I don't actually want it to happen :(

The dentist I am with is both NHS and private.
You have to give informed consent to any treatment any dentist proposes. They can't make you do anything. Ask lots of questions such as 'if this were your tooth would you save it with a root canal/would you get an endodontist to do it for you?' etc etc.

Go with an open mind and remember you are in control of what treatment you agree to. You decide whether to do NHS or private, even private with a different totally private dentist...whatever.

Its not just whether the NHS is willing to do a root canal but is the person experienced at doing them, do they have the right equipment (microscope for complex ones) and how long can they allocate to give it a chance of success etc etc

It is true that the UK Government currently has various pilot schemes operating for NHS dental in England and Wales (not Scotland where the system is still a piece rate - easier to get stuff done) as it became apparent from their own statistics that the UDA system which incentivises undertreatment/quicker treatment e.g. extractions, was causing restorative care to go down and extractions to go up massively. Clearly the population did not have any change in dental health..it was clear what was happening.

This was not all NHS dentists in England and Wales though...just those who allow themselves to be unethically driven by targets as opposed to recommending treatment they would for themselves or relatives.

My NHS dentist (I am also exempt from paying and have a certificate) did a root canal on my tooth even though he rated the chances of it working as less than 50%. Seems to have worked
I had two rct's last year and my dentist talked me round to the idea.

I was given the choice of extraction or rct, I was too afraid to have a root canal but after talking to my dentist and being assured it would be totally pain free he went on and did the two.

I am an nhs patient, the last one I had done needs re doing which I am now in the process of having done, so don't just think extraction is the only option for you. If you don't like the option your dentist gives you and the reasons why, find another dentist that may be willing to do a rct if that is possible. Sometimes teeth cannot be saved.

Good luck :clover::clover::clover:
Very reassuring :)

To be honest, the notion of having any teeth removed is a lot more daunting than that of having work done. After what I have read on here, as long as I am numbed like crazy, I could handle a root canal.

We'll see what the dentist says - less than 2 hours :frantic:
How did you get on?
To cut a long story short, a long story which I put in my journal, it went wonderfully well! I need five fillings and two possible crowns. He gave me a choice between extractions or crowns and I decided on the crowns, for obvious reasons. He also told me that there may be a chance that, once all the decay has been removed, they might not even need crowns, just fillings!

We shall see :)
GOOD :jump::jump::jump::jump::jump::cheer::cheer::cheer::cheer::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2::dance2::dance2::dance2::yayy::yayy::yayy: the nhs isn't all bad is it.