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Waiting on root canal...dangers?



Well-known member
Jan 23, 2007
I have a tooth that may or may not be getting a root canal in the near future. I've had three opinions and two said wait and see, so I'm waiting. I am also saving up the $3000 needed for the root canal and sedation but only after paying off my last treatment plan of 5 fillings and an onlay, which was almost $2000 even after insurance.

At best, even if the tooth "goes," I wouldn't have the money for two or three months. And there aren't any alternate sources of money (bankruptcy, etc.). I do have a Carecredit card, but that is the $2000 I am currently paying off.

My dentist understands my situation and said he will give me antibiotics if I get an infection until I get the money together. My question is: Are there any risks to waiting on a root canal (besides the possibility of recurrent infection)?
From what I know, I think the main risk is that it's less likely to fail or have complications if you have it done sooner, so if you don't want to risk wasting your money it's better to do it now.

But if youre not sure at this stage whether you have an infected tooth then that's another story. As someone who nearly ended up with an unecessary root treatment, I think you are right to be cautious if two say wait.

By the way $3,000 sounds very steep. It must be the sedation that has bumped up the price.
Not really, so long as it's accepted that there may be a chance that antibiotics alone won't work and the tooth will need extracted or the endo brought forward.
Thanks for your replies!

There is no x-ray evidence of an infection. The only symptom is sensitivity to cold that feels better some days and worse some days--it seems to be stress-related if that is even possible--but the two dentists who said "wait" felt like it wasn't immediately necessary.

It's $1000 for iv sedation, and $2000 for the endo and crown. Yes, it seems like a lot for one tooth, but I guess it's best to save it :) I would definitely do it sooner if I had to. She said we could try it with nitrous and oral sedation, but that would still be around $2000, and I haven't had success with either (but together might be better...?).

Anne, what was your root canal situation?