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Posted by Kay on April 17, 2000 at 23:23:44:

I will spare you the long story, but please check my post below dated 11/30/99: "Root canal AFTER crown? Major anxiety and questions...". This fiasco has gotten worse. The follow-up is that after getting two crowns and still having pain, the first dentist's partner said I do need a root canal. He started the root canal, then referred me to an endodontist for a root canal because the root is curved; the endodontist said I needed to see a periodontist first. The periodontist said I need "crown lengthening" before the root canal can be done. This costs $650, which our insurance company refuses to pay. The root canal will cost about $850. I'm very upset about all this.

The original dentist called me today and said he would pay for whichever treatment I choose: Plan A is periodontal surgery, followed by root canal, followed by a crown. Plan B is pull the tooth (may be tricky with curved root?) and get an implant. I hate both plans, but have to choose one. Money isn't a factor (boy, that's a weird feeling to type) because the dentist apparently realizes he is responsible and will pay.

Actually, the dentist said he thought I was threatening a lawsuit (I wasn't) and was told by his malpractice people to offer me payment for whatever I choose as long as I sign a waiver releasing him from any further responsibility for that tooth.

So, my questions are: 1) Which plan do you recommend? 2) What's it like to get an implant? Very painful? 3) Should I investigate litigation? Seems the dentist has somewhat admitted fault by saying he was advised to pay whatever will resolve the situation. I've never sued anyone, nor does this appeal to me. Yet, he has put me through a real ordeal, and I still have a real ordeal ahead of me, no matter what plan I choose.

This has been going on since last summer, and won't be resolved even by this summer. I have been unable to chew on that side, and that's my chewing side (the other side missing two top and two bottom teeth). I haven't been able to eat normally for quite a while.

Any advice welcome. Thanks so much.

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