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Posted by David on July 08, 2000 at 00:21:05:

In Reply to: Did I really need a root canal? posted by Krista on July 06, 2000 at 00:44:41:

: I went to the dentist today, a completely new one... I hadn't been to one in over a year (oops). Anyway,
: I'd gone in because a little bit of tooth came out, and I figured out from where, and figured I must have a cavity
: I could feel it with my tongue, a slightly larger gap between two teeth.

: After looking at the x-ray he decided that the cavity went down far enough that it looked like it was Nearly touching
: the nerves / pulp. And I think I could see what he was talking about on the x-ray. And he said I needed
: a root canal. I wasn't sure What to do, I'd never even had a cavity until about 2 years ago, and now a root
: canal. I knew something had to be done, though the tooth only ached a little, it didn't hurt badly... and I
: didn't have an abcess, so I said okay, even though I'll be in debt for a year or so (to my credit cards) because
: of it.

: So, I encouraged him to careful and if the cavity really wasn't into the pulp to Please save it without
: the root canal, but when he got to that point he said, nope, a lot of decay, and went ahead with it...
: No gas or anything, but he was careful about numbing and did more when I softly yelped at the first drilling
: session.

: Anyway, from what others are saying here, about abcesses and pain and cracked teeth... I'm beginning
: to wonder if I really needed a root canal, and should it really cost nearly $2000 for a root canal + crown +
: initial visit? I think that's a bit extreme, but I am living near Washington D.C. and things are more expensive
: here than I'm used to, having moved here in Sept from Michigan.

: Any ideas, opinions?

: Krista

Hey Krista-
We would all hope to meet nice, honest people whom we can trust.
But it isn't possible for me to say if you needed root canal therapy
or not. What's done is done, but for future reference, here are some
signs that you might need RCT.
1. History of large fillings being replaced often.
2. Long duration pain (45 minutes+) after drinking hot liquids.
3. Spontaneous pain for no reason, or a tooth wakes you up at
night for no reason.
4. Sensitivity to percussion (tapping on the tooth).
5. Deep cavity on an x-ray, or a dark circular area at the end
of a root.
6. Mobility/loose tooth.
7. Pain (throbbing or pulsating), swelling, draining abscess, fever, etc.
8. Noticeable crack in tooth.
9. The dentist has a house payment due.

Well, I don't want to be too rough on the dentists, so maybe #9
does not apply. In the future, unless its a dire emergency, you could
probably get a second opinion, or third if necessary. As you might??
have had some alternatives to the treatment.

Good Luck-

P.S. Those fees are in line with The Wash, DC area.

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