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Pissed off - failed root canal and now will cost me £££’s

(31 Posts)
Afternooninthepark Mon 08-Apr-19 16:27:35

I’m really pissed off and upset and wonder if anyone has any advice as I know little about how dental treatment works.
I am an NHS dental patient and two years ago I had a molar removed and root canal on the molar next to it. My dentist has refused to cap/crown this tooth as there was an infection in it and she said it could take over two years for the infection to go. I grind my teeth at night and have TMJ disorder which the dentist is aware of and probably has contributed to the damage to my teeth.
However, a month ago, at a check up the dentist descaled my teeth and after that this molar was painful. I returned two weeks ago for her to tell me the tooth now has a crack in it (wasn’t painful before the descaling appointment!) and the tooth will have to be extracted.
This concerns me as I will now have a big gap where the two molars would have been and will have the eat mainly on the other side which will exacerbate the TMJ disorder even more and even if Indo have a denture it wouldn’t be able to be fitted for 6-8 months to allow for healing.
I contacted the dentist today and asked if the tooth can be saved to avoid putting any more pressure on the jaws. She said as it will be a re root canal I will have to see a private specialist at £120 for the consultation and the re root canal will be around £900. I work part time and just don’t have that kind of money and I am so disappointed that this has been going on for two years, surely if she had even temporarily crowned it, it would have been saved from cracking.
I could cry I’m so frustrated. Anyone else experienced anything like this?

Hercules12 Mon 08-Apr-19 16:32:16

I've had 2 failed root canals and then had to pay for implants at around 2 grand each. I feel your pain but nothing guaranteed I think with teeth.

Afternooninthepark Mon 08-Apr-19 16:40:39

Hercules ouch! I asked about implants if I had the tooth removed, they quoted £2500 for each so I suppose the re root canal is the less of the two evils, just wonder if it’ll last?

chillpizza Mon 08-Apr-19 17:15:21

I lost all trust in nhs dentists. A perfectly fine tooth was declared dead a few weeks before my mat exemption ran out. They did the work but yet didn’t actually remove all the root, didn’t cap it and it’s basically now slowly and painfully dying and changing colour yay! No nhs dentists in the new area to even pay a capped price not that I would trust them so it’s goinf to have to be private.

InspectorClouseauMNdivision Mon 08-Apr-19 17:21:21

Even if the dentist capped it, it could have crack. Mine did. And that was done abroad by a really good dentist. It can just happen when the tooth is weak.

Can you go and get a second opinion elsewhere? Maybe there is some other way to deal with this.

Afternooninthepark Mon 08-Apr-19 17:29:47

chill that is very frustrating. I am beginning to lose faith too. I seem to find a good dentist who I believe in and then they go and leave the area.
inspector I think my only option for a second opinion is to see someone privately as there are year long waiting lists for NHS patients in my area.

Pinotjo Mon 08-Apr-19 17:47:45

I had a root canal, dentist didn't fill it correctly, got an infection which resulted in having a dark line around my mouth, like a faint moustache and a bruise like effect around my chin, this was the infection seeping around my lower face, had to have my gums cut open and the infection auctioned out, strong antibiotics. Total nightmare, wouldnt recommended

Pinotjo Mon 08-Apr-19 17:49:23

Ps had the tooth removed, side of mouth, can see the hole when I smile, couldn't afford the replacement, now it's just part of me!

Gingerkittykat Mon 08-Apr-19 17:59:02

I had an old root canal redone by my NHS dentist, so maybe another NHS dentist would do the work for you.

MattFreisWeatherReport Mon 08-Apr-19 18:59:07

Dentists hate doing NHS work as they feel inadequately paid for it compared with what they could charge private patients for the same work. My experience is that they use any excuse to refer you for a 'specialist' procedure that can only be done privately at a different practice. Different dental practices seem to have reciprocal arrangements with each other to make sure everyone's back is equally scratched. I'm sure a dentist will be along in a minute to say that's bollocks, but in my area it's common.

Agree with your dentist that there's nothing for it but an extraction and then get a referral to have that done at a hospital clinic instead of just at your regular dental surgery (say you're nervous and will need decent sedation). You'll then be able to get an honest assessment from an NHS dentist without any skin in the game about what the best course of action is, and can go back to your own dentist armed with an indisputable opinion. I've saved two teeth on two different occasions from spurious 'specialist' root canal work that would have cost me thousands. Both times the problem was much simpler and cheaper than I'd been told. It takes time though, so get some pain relief on board!

Afternooninthepark Mon 08-Apr-19 19:10:52

pintojo that sounds awful!
ginger I would like to change but the NHS waiting lists for dentists around my way are a year or more.
Matt I really do agree with you especially as I’ve just found out that the ‘specialist’ recommended by my dentist for the route canal retreatment is owned by the same group as the private side of my dental surgery. I am going to see her in two weeks, will enquire about referral to hospital.

TrickyD Mon 08-Apr-19 19:22:32

This may not be appropriate for you, OP, but my DH needed complicated crown and bridge work and he had it all done in Budapest, seemingly the dentistry capital of Europe. Even taking plane fares and accommodation into accont, it was half the price of the estimates he obtained here, and the result is excellent.

BlueCornishPixie Mon 08-Apr-19 19:44:41

This is nothing to do with dentists not wanting to do the work. Nhs dentists are often the same as private (literally the same dentist) with the same skill level. Re root treatment is complicated, and beyond the skill level of most general dentists.

Everything you do to a tooth takes it one step closer to needing to come out, obviously treatment is necessary but each step is further down the line of whether a tooth can be saved. Once a tooth is root filled that's the final step of a general dentist, if you want to save it you are asking for a lot of skill and a lot of expensive equipment, a lot of time which costs a lot of money.

Root canals aren't always successful, no treatment is 100%. The same as any medical procedure you have. If the infection hadn't healed then there's no point crowning a tooth as the if the root canal hadn't settled then it will either need to be redone or come out, so a crown is a waste of time and money.

It's likely the scale removed some calculus that was blocking the crack which made it painful, a descale couldn't crack a tooth.

Another dentist may be okay giving the re-treatment a go, but especially on a molar the success rate is likey to be poor as they simply don't have the skill or equipment to get a high success rate. Re-treatment on a molar is specialist worm.

BlueCornishPixie Mon 08-Apr-19 19:45:17

Do notunder any circumstances go to Budapest. Please.

BlueCornishPixie Mon 08-Apr-19 19:46:36

If you need re-treatment you will have needed re-treatment regardless of the crack

Afternooninthepark Mon 08-Apr-19 22:18:05

Thanks Blue I think I am going to opt for the extraction as much as it pains me to let the tooth go it’s obviously beyond help and I just can not afford the private treatment.
And I would not go anywhere abroad for treatment (even though several friends have gone to Turkey and are over the moon with the results - that’s not for me!)

TrickyD Thu 11-Apr-19 11:46:48

Do notunder any circumstances go to Budapest. Please.

Are you a UK dentist, BlueCornishPixie ?

If so, you would say that wouldn't you?

If you are not, many satisfied patients will disagree.

aprilshowers12 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:25:14

My dB had lots of amazing and pain free dental work carried out a few years ago. It cost him less than half what it would have cost here and he’s thrilled with the results

aprilshowers12 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:25:35

Sorry meant to say that was in Budapest

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Thu 11-Apr-19 12:35:01

I am quite surprised at how many NHS dentists do root canal treatment themselves. I wouldn't be happy with that. My (extremely competent) private dentist found I needed root canal treatment and immediately referred me to a specialist in root canals to get that done. In the end, the first root canal treatment failed as an infection got in (I think this happened when my own dentist was fitting a crown to the tooth afterwards so perhaps not so competent in that instance) and the specialist redid the root canal for no extra charge (he said he never has to redo them normally and the no charge for a redo was his policy).

tisonlymeagain Thu 11-Apr-19 12:37:23

Root canals are often at risk of failure. I had one done recently and was warned of that, but my NHS dentist was very thorough and xrayed it three times during the work to make sure it was being done right.

I am surprised at the crack though and your dentist's advice. Surely the infection was removed by the very process of cleaning out and filling the root? My root was also medicated in the week before the root canal to help fight the infection. My dentist gave me the option but strongly advised me to have a crown put on to prevent cracking. This was done about 6 weeks after the actual root canal and I've had no issues with it since.

MarianneM Thu 11-Apr-19 12:41:51

I basically had the same experience as you, and the same tooth, although I still have the molar on that side, and while I was thinking about whether to have the root canal done privately and pay all that money, or get the tooth extracted the tooth chipped badly so that was that. I had it extracted and while that wasn't a nice experience, I feel fine now. No-one can even see the gap unless I open my mouth wide and show them. Just have it out and be done with it!

User12879923378 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:45:07

There are lots of dentists on Mumsnet who might feel able to wade through the snidery on here to give some advice. I have had a couple of root canal treatments and what I was told is that a root canal treatment doesn't always work because along with the big root cavities there may be smaller offshoots that aren't accessible for cleaning and the infection may linger there. Not always easy to predict. I was also told that if the root canal is on a lower tooth it's less likely to succeed than an upper tooth because with an upper tooth the infection drains out rather than in.

Also, capping an infected tooth is supposed to be a bad idea as the infection then has no way out. I think.

Not a dentist myself but the fact that your root canal hasn't worked doesn't mean than NHS dentists are crap or that your dentist is a charlatan.

I do understand how frustrated and miserable you must feel though flowers

User12879923378 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:46:12

NB with my root canals there was a temporary filling before capping and I was told that this was to see if the tooth settled or if there was any residual infection left so I am not surprised she wouldn't cap it.

User12879923378 Thu 11-Apr-19 12:48:31

Oh, and I also have TMJ and it is the absolute pits so more flowers for you.

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