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Should I do the root canal or extract the molar?



Junior member
Dec 1, 2015
I had an impacted wisdom tooth that i didn't deal with. It caused a cavity in the second molar. The doctor said it was pretty near the root/nerve but he thought since I had no severe pain after the wisdom tooth extraction- he could just fill the cavity on the second molar.

After the filling yesterday i started having excruciating jabs of pain off and on until today so I went back to the dentist. He said it sounds like I need a root canal. But the procedure is expensive and I am having trouble affording it.

So he said a cheaper fix is to just remove the tooth.

I am stuck but highly tempted to just remove the tooth. It's not only cheaper but it means there's just no way for this tooth to bug me again in future. i have heard about root canals failing or getting infected again after 4-5 years. Sounds like hassle if i can just get the bugger out.

What do you guys think? I know the decision is ultimately mine but would like some thoughts. :)
I'd always try to save the tooth. I've had 4 root canals - I think my oldest is 5 years old. I've had absolutely no problem with any of them and don't expect to. If they are done properly, they should last a very long time.
I have had a few rct's one is about 30 years old and has had no problems. I had another that lasted for about 20 years. I had a couple done about three years ago one was fine with no problems the other failed straight away but was re-treated and has been fine since.

I had a deep filling that lasted about 6 years which is the time the dentist told me it would when he did it, are you sure you aren't mixing deep fillings up with rct's in the 5 to 6 year time scale.

I would always try and keep the teeth I have because I have lost quite a few of my back teeth over the years. If it is a back tooth and no other gaps you will probably still be able to eat etc... without it. But you have to consider that if you lost other teeth some time down the line and this tooth could have been saved you may be glad you didn't extract it.

Like you say it is your decision, I hope the replies you have had have helped you come to that decision. There is no right or wrong decision, the one you make is the right one. Maybe the dentist would let you pay in instalments to make a rct easier to afford.

All the best to you :butterfly::butterfly:
Thank you both for the advice! I've decided I will go for the rct and try to save the tooth.

Carole, no it was a relative who told me about their root canal failing and how he had to extract after 5 yrs but he also mentioned he's twice my age and the rct was done pretty late on.

I had a long think about it. It's very common for the older generation in Asia to just pull out their infected teeth because the cost of dental healthcare is exorbitant so both my parents said to just pull.

However, I see it differently now. I had a think: I can at my age work to earn the money back - I may not be in such a great predicament when I am retired on a measly pension at 60 with few teeth left!

I will be paying for the rct and crowning separately to help spread out the costs.

Very expensive Christmas for me! But now there's the other thing... fearing the rct!!
I'm glad you've been able to make a decision you feel good about! Do you know what you are most afraid of about having a root canal? Would it help to know what will happen? If so, you could have a read of this: