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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?

weleasewoderick22 Thu 11-Apr-19 13:22:58

I am quite surprised at how many NHS dentists do root canal treatment themselves. I wouldn't be happy with that.

I was a dental nurse for 30 odd years and every dentist did root treatment, there is no one to refer to for routine treatment. As far as I'm aware, there are no private specialists in root canal therapy ( called endodontists) working in practice, they tend to be hospital specialists.
It's not that difficult a procedure in front teeth because they only have one or two roots. It's more difficult with molars because they have 3 or, sometimes, 4 canals and the failure rate is high and that is why they very often extract. But it's not impossible, I have two root treated molars that have been crowned afterwards because the teeth become very brittle once the nerve and blood supply are removed, I guess I've been lucky.

I think getting a second opinion is an excellent idea. As a pp said, your dentist probably doesn't want to do it and doesn't have the skills, so that's why she is referring you. It sounds like you are being referred to a oral surgeon who is attached to a hospital but has a private list. Insist on being referred to your local hospital's dental department, or better still, if you are near a teaching hospital you can refer yourself and there's no charge.

Sorry for the essay! I hope you find a solution.

Afternooninthepark Thu 11-Apr-19 18:08:33

Thanks all, I am going to see my dentist in a couple of weeks for the extraction appointment but will discuss all the options with her.
welease my only concern is that she isn’t referring me to a hospital but a private practice which happens to be owned by the same company that owns the dental practice. I will ask if I can be referred to my local hospital.

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Thu 11-Apr-19 18:25:41

I was in your situation and had extraction.
Root canal failed for me and the tooth became too weak for a crown.

It was only one tooth but honestly it was a good outcome. my teeth were overcrowded and it really helped even things out

I’d extract and save for an implant

BlueCornishPixie Thu 11-Apr-19 19:42:33

TrickyD why because in the UK would I say that? It's not like the OP is going to come see me so it's not affecting me where she goes?

I am a UK dentist and honestly there are so many problems with cheap work people have had abroad.

It is often work that a UK dentist wouldn't do because it is too destructive, or too likely to fail. Then when it inevitably does fail it is then a massive job to sort out, normally beyond the skill of a general dentist and there's no recourse for the dentist who did it, no ability to go back and get the original dentist to sort it out. Then people will end up losing lots of teeth, with lots of damage. Really don't go abroad.

There's a reason UK private dentistry is expensive, it's because that's what skill, time and equipment cost.

Afternoon lots of dental hospitals won't take on re-treatment on its own, where I am they won't. All specialist endodontists (root canal specialists) are private round me. The referring dentist won't make any money from referring you to someone in the same practice, or same business. It is likely if it is a colleague it is someone they trust and know does good work and that is why they would refer you. The distrust of dentists on this thread is really sad, of course you are going to refer to someone in the same company as you, it's like in any business if more specialist work is needed you will refer to someone within your company because that's a) someone who's easy to communicate with and b) someone's who is work you trust.

BlueCornishPixie Thu 11-Apr-19 19:50:55

Also just because someone is happy with work done abroad doesnt mean its okay, i have seen people come in and tell me about their marvellous crown and bridge work done in places like turkey, budapest and it's a total mess. Its failng left right and centre and it's only a matter of time before it all goes wrong. And then I am left with having to sort it, telling someone there beautiful work needs to all come out, they're going to lose teeth and there's actually not an awful lot I can do to fix it.

If something is significantly cheaper abroad or something that a UK dentist won't do then it really isn't a good idea to get it done abroad. Obviously not all dentists in the abroad are bad, so if you are living abroad of course it's fine to get work abroad, and if yoi have an emergency fine. But the problem comes when you can't go back to the original dentist for upkeep and to fix problems, the original dentist knows you will never come back so they don't care about the future of their work and we can't contact the original dentist for your notes to help us.

Afternooninthepark Thu 11-Apr-19 20:57:13

blue I would never go abroad for any healthcare, I would be far too apprehensive about things going wrong. However, I totally understand why people do it, my dentist reels off these figures for dental work as though it’s so affordable (maybe to her these prices are reasonable?). We are talking thousands of pounds which is incomprehensible for many of us. Leaves me with few options and typically the nicer options are only privy to the few who can afford them. That is why the every day person goes abroad for treatment, because they have few options.

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