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... to be annoyed by needing a root canal done as a result of a filling less than a year ago?

(10 Posts)
zipzap Mon 24-Aug-09 23:15:18

I had a filling less than a year ago - remember thinking the dentist had done it very quickly, along with the check up she was supposed to be doing where she said there were no problems where I had a sore bit. She was a locum dentist, had seen her once before but she is no longer at the practice.

I had a pain in my tooth so went to the dentist last week; said it looked like there was some decay that had got behind the filling that had been missed and infected the pulp. So needed it drilled and a root canal done. Went in today (already the third appointment) for more cleaning out and a new set of antibiotics as still quite infected - was supposed to be finished to day but now going to be another fortnight at least until it can be recleaned and then hopefully finally sealed.

When I asked dentist which tooth it was it turns out it was the tooth that the locum dentist had filled relatively recently. As he hadn't done the filling he was a bit evasive when I asked about it - they have redone the filling for free (or he then corrected himself to say that it was done as part of the root canal treatment but it is the sort of place that they seem to charge for every little thing, you don't usually get stuff for nothing) which made me a bit wary.

It just seems very suspicious that this is the tooth that is having problems and I am now having to hand over more and more money (£350 at last count, will be more now I need another appointment) as a result of a badly done filling...

Should be pushing for more explanations or a reduced rate on getting the root canal done or am I just unlucky?

It doesn't help that I am worried about the practice and wondering about leaving them after the experiences I have had (the first root canal treatment was incredibly painful with the new dentist which doesn't bode well). It is just a small practice, although it looks like there are several dentists there, there is invariably only one in at any time, they all seem to work in other places too and they are not very keen on you seeing different dentists so it really cuts down the amount of time available to even start to book an appointment with the dentist.

I'm thinking about leaving but don't want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire IYSWIM!

Any advice welcomed - thanks

slowreadingprogress Mon 24-Aug-09 23:33:06

I would be wary of any dentist who allowed root canal work to be 'incredibly painful'...my dentist would be horrified at that. He even has anaesthetic gel to put on the gum to numb it before he injects, etc. He has never caused me one tiny bit of pain and I've had root canal work etc. I just don't think it should hurt at all.

So, can't say about whether your infection could be as a result of a badly done root canal (though it sounds perfectly possible!) but I'd say if this were me I'd look to move.

MissSunny Tue 25-Aug-09 00:23:02

Message withdrawn

zipzap Tue 25-Aug-09 10:22:52

thanks for that.

oops, sorry, didn't mean to be unclear SRP.

The infection is as a result of a badly done small filling (costing £45) which has led to the root canal work needing doing. which I guess is going to cost somewhere in the region of £400-500 by the time they finish.

The dentist seems quite young (I know, it just means that I am getting older faster than I admit to myself grin) and doesn't explain what he is doing very much but he did use gel to numb before putting the injection in and this time wasn't as bad as last time.

I'm also now sitting here feeling incredibly light headed and a bit dizzy, started yesterday a couple of hours after the RC and is slowly getting worse, sure it is probably coincidence and something like an inner ear infection, but you start getting paranoid the more you start thinking about these things!

and I have antibiotics to take again to help clear out the infection so hopefully if it is an ear infection they will work on that too smile

ChookKeeper Tue 25-Aug-09 11:12:12

Oh how I feel for you zipzap. A few years ago I had a filling replaced and paid £60 for a nice white one. A couple of weeks later I started getting pain in that tooth and it turned out that an infection had spread from the tooth into my jaw bone. It took an extraction, heavy duty painkillers and two lots of antibiotics to sort it out. Then the impacted wisdom tooth next to the extraction site started to erupt and that killed so much I had to go into hosptial and have it out under a general.

Now, I'm back in a similar situation as the same molar on the other side was extracted last week due to an infection (just bad luck this time)and I'm still in discomfort now (had it packed with that disgusting clove oil stuff)and can't wait to go back to dentist tomorrow to have the packing taken out 'cos it's rank. I'm now worried that I'll have to go through the whole plaver again with the impacted wisdom tooth on this side.

Anyway, back to your original question - I'd certainly ask them to explain why the infection had set in after the filling (I did and was told it was just bad luck). It's then up to you if you want to push for a reduced rate on the remedial work or if like me you just end up paying to get the work over and done with and hope that's the end of it.

Hope you feel better soon.

pjmama Tue 25-Aug-09 11:36:49

Sometimes infection can develop in a filled tooth even if the dentist has done the best possible job. If the filling is close to the root, then this can cause the root to die off and get infected. This is just bad luck, I wouldn't assume that it's the dentist's fault. Dentistry is not an exact science. Of course there are good an bad dentists out there, but you can't generally label one as bad just because a treatment didn't work out as hoped - that's just sometimes how it goes unfortunately.

lljkk Tue 25-Aug-09 11:41:10

I had a filling done in January; the dentist at the time hinted that because the decay was so 'high' (right on the gum line) that there was likely to be "problems".
I was in agony afterwards; I guess the drilling had reached the nerve, very expensive root canal few weeks later (which still hasn't completely settled).
I don't think that it could have been helped, really. Wasn't the dentists fault where and how deep the decay had gone.

That said, I am getting all fillings from a different dentist (my usual) at the same practise in future, because I'm suspect that my usual dentist is more careful.

slowreadingprogress Tue 25-Aug-09 19:29:11

MissSunny of course you know what happened to you best BUT i know for a fact my dentist would never carry on with a patient in so much pain that the nurse had to hold them in the chair. There is sedation, general, etc.....this thread just makes me even more grateful for him tbh. His modus operandi is not ever to cause pain - my whole family has gone for various things over the years - no pain...so tbh my thoughts for the op would still be to try another!

zipzap Wed 26-Aug-09 16:17:45

thanks everyone, looks like it could just be one of those unlucky things then.

I guess if it had been the dentist I had been seeing (who was not quite as nice as yours SRP but pretty good and careful) I would have automatically have thought it was just one of those things, it was because I was already thinking that the locum dentist that had done it seemed slapdash that made me wonder/worry.

I guess I will mention it to them, if only so they know that the other dentist wasn't up to their usual standards of dentists.

CK - hope your teeth are all feeling better and settling down, sounds like you have had a long drawn out bad experience!

MissSunny Wed 26-Aug-09 17:00:52

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