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Root canal or extraction

D

DDDD

Junior member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Bedford UK
I am 57 with all my teeth but lots of fillings as I didn’t look after my teeth well when I was a young adult.

A few weeks ago I was in pain, I believe it was the gum by a tooth in front of a wisdom tooth (lower left). My dentist xrayed it, couldn’t see anything obviously wrong. Gave me antibiotics for 5 days and cleaned all around the tooth.

Gradually pain improved but the gum is still a little sensitive to touch. I don’t want to ignore the problem as I am in fear of it getting worse. The dentist tapped the tooth and neighbouring teeth with the handle of a probe without problems. Next she used something seriously cold, which I could only feel on neighbouring teeth.

She said I will have continuous problems with the tooth and agreed something needs to be done. She can extract the tooth or refer me for foot canal treatment as the treatment needs to go deeper and beyond the normal level of treatment and will be very expensive.

It is the tooth with the X on the X-ray. In the photo it is behind the tooth with the large mercury filling.


4F3E3278-9714-4E76-B294-CE6B277F59D2.jpeg

4F3E3278-9714-4E76-B294-CE6B277F59D2.jpeg466397F3-4ABA-431B-BD1C-4091C63066BA.jpeg
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
444
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Could you go see the endodontist, the root canal specialist, and get their opinion regarding if a root canal is the best option for you or not?
 
M

Mike

Member
Verified dentist
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
86
Location
Scotland
The factors to consider are:
1) Do you want to keep the tooth (enough to have multiple appts and pay whatever bill)
2) Is your dentist happy that once the RCT is carried out that they can restore the tooth well enough for it to last

Functionally you probably won’t miss it but it’s a personal decision, either would be clinically appropriate!
 
D

DDDD

Junior member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Bedford UK
Oh thank you G and M, glad you can see the dilemma.

I think I would like to keep the tooth if possible, it does seem a useful tooth and I have all the rest of my teeth. The dentist had previously said the wisdom tooth didn’t line up with the corresponding tooth above and therefore doesn’t do much.

I’m thinking I will see the specialist to see what is said and take it from there. It seems that I will have to pay for this, about £400 as the NHS solution is simply to extract the tooth. Simple root canals can be done by the NHS but this is more involved, or so I am told. Not sure how it is more involved though....

Thank you for not giving me a hard time about my piercing, it was from a rebellious phase!

Other views most welcome.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
579
Just to give a patient’s perspective, I paid close to £900 for a specialist root canal, then had to pay separately for the crown, which was done by my own NHS dentist. I also had a root canal done by my own dentist which cost something like £85. Both were molars and done within the space of a few months. I had gone through a period of clenching my teeth horribly due to stress, which caused a load of trouble.

My own dentist was willing to do both, but concerned the upper tooth had long twisted roots, close to my sinus cavity, so I opted to go straight to the specialist. As well as paying for the treatment with the specialist, I paid a £50 consultation fee.
 
D

DDDD

Junior member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Bedford UK
Thank you Judythecat for your perspective. Gosh that starts to appear rather expensive. Only a few years ago, while I was with a private dentist, I had a root canal and crown on a smaller tooth. I can’t recall exactly how much it cost but it was nothing like the £900+ which you have paid.

Since I last posted here, I had an unexpected visit from a friend who is a retired dentist who popped in for a cuppa. I took the opportunity to ask him about it, I showed him the X-ray as well. His view was, if there’s no pain, keep it ultra clean and see how it goes. Make sure I leave plenty of toothpaste in my mouth after brushing, make sure I take very good care of my gums and see how things go. He did emphasise he wasn’t really in a position to give me much of a professional opinion.

Interestingly, the ‘scores’ for the probe being pushed into my gums have normally been 2 or 3. Since I switched to an electric toothbrush and have made sure the brush ‘tickles’ lightly against the gum, all of the readings are now 1 or 2 and this has been the case for the last three checkups.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
579
Thank you Judythecat for your perspective. Gosh that starts to appear rather expensive. Only a few years ago, while I was with a private dentist, I had a root canal and crown on a smaller tooth. I can’t recall exactly how much it cost but it was nothing like the £900+ which you have paid.

Since I last posted here, I had an unexpected visit from a friend who is a retired dentist who popped in for a cuppa. I took the opportunity to ask him about it, I showed him the X-ray as well. His view was, if there’s no pain, keep it ultra clean and see how it goes. Make sure I leave plenty of toothpaste in my mouth after brushing, make sure I take very good care of my gums and see how things go. He did emphasise he wasn’t really in a position to give me much of a professional opinion.

Interestingly, the ‘scores’ for the probe being pushed into my gums have normally been 2 or 3. Since I switched to an electric toothbrush and have made sure the brush ‘tickles’ lightly against the gum, all of the readings are now 1 or 2 and this has been the case for the last three checkups.
The dentist who did my root canal was a specialist endodontist, so that probably made it more expensive than a general dentist working privately. The cost was awful, but he was great, and I knew he was very experienced - I was referred to him by my own dentist and was reassured by the fact she trusted and rated him.

My inclination in your shoes would be to schedule the consultation sooner rather than later, and see what’s what, but I am a worrier. I would always rather be treated before something reaches crisis point!
 
D

DDDD

Junior member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Bedford UK
Absolutely I agree about dealing with something before a crisis point is reached.

Not dental related.... I took a nasty fall while I was running over the weekend. I landed at speed onto a gritty track with my hand, elbow and knee taking the impact. So I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself and don’t want to tackle dental things until I’ve healed up. I don’t believe anything is broken, just a flesh wound so let’s deal with one step at a time!
 
D

DDDD

Junior member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Bedford UK
I’m thinking I might have an abscess coming on.... never had anything like this. Have made an appointment to see the dentist day after tomorrow. What is going on?7D546490-A4B7-4FF8-83F7-F5E6EBD9ADFF.jpeg
 
M

Mike

Member
Verified dentist
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
86
Location
Scotland
Yep, it looks like a pointing abscess.

Some warm salty mouthwashes might encourage it to drain in the meantime - it doesn’t look far off.
 
D

DDDD

Junior member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Bedford UK
I have seen my NHS dentist who confirms I have an abscess. I have decided to go for root canal treatment at £400. She will refer me to a private colleague.

What I didn’t necessarily expect, although I can see it happened to Judythecat (as above) that there is a further charge for fitting the crown. There I have a choice between Band C NHS charge of £200+ for a NHS metal crown or even more white crown fitted privately.

In the meantime the abscess ebbs and flows. We have been off on a little camping trip which led to less salt water swills in my mouth. We are back now and I hope it will settle down mow. Hope so as I’m now starting to feel it a bit. Pain wise it’s only 0.5 out of 10
 
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