Failed root canal, dentist has said will cost me £650 +

(31 Posts)
ijustwant8hours Sat 10-Nov-12 22:44:08

Hi, has anyone been in a similar situation or can anyone offer advice? I am a bit stuck as to what to do next....

I am an NHS patient with my dentist. I have a failed root canal, it isnt very painful, unless I prod it, but there is clearly infection there as I have a massive lump on my gum.

Dentist told me that it needs specialist treatment and she could 1. Refer me to Guys Hospital who might not take the case, 2. Refer me to a specialist which would cost £650+ or 3. One of their senior partners isnt a specialist but would have a go for £550+.

Guys have refused the case so now dentist says my only option is to pay. Is this right? She didnt mention extraction and I was too shell shocked to think straight, but presumably they could just take the tooth out?

I really can't afford that kind of money and it feels almost like I am being blackmailed!

OP’s posts: |
CrikeyOHare Sun 11-Nov-12 09:30:47


Whatever needs doing, no matter how specialist, CAN be done on the NHS - and you wouldn't be charged £650! An infection is a serious matter. Are you on antibiotics?

I would get a second opinion from another NHS dentist, OP. This all sounds very hmm.

HeartOfDixie Sun 11-Nov-12 09:41:57

Hi yes. I'm in the same situation. the costs sound about right but I would get a second opinion. as guys are mentioned are you Se London. Kings dental bit are very good but may be the same as guys as all hospitals seemed to have merged these days. My dentist offered me extraction, around £40 but they prefer not to as it loosens the security of the other teeth around it and can affect wearing on the teeth below. I agree if infection present you need to do something ASAP as untreated infection can be dangerous or turn into an absess (can't spell) and is the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

blondieminx Sun 11-Nov-12 09:43:00

Doesn't sound right to me either!

See your GP re the infection and ask for a referral to a consultant while you're there. smile hope it gets sorted soon.

maebyfunke Sun 11-Nov-12 09:47:16

Really you shouldn't have to pay more than £209 for a course of NHS treatment even if you need a crown.

What specialist treatment do they think you need?

Bearandcub Sun 11-Nov-12 09:57:03

Get a 2nd opinion or call your PCT/clinical commissioning group for your area for advice re charges.

AuntFini Sun 11-Nov-12 10:02:56

This happened to me this summer. Failed root canal with lump on gum, not especially painful unless I prodded lump.
Dentist did a second root canal on the tooth for band two cost and it's been fine ever since. His other suggestion was extraction if that had not worked. He knows I'd never have much money so maybe that's why he didn't suggest any private dentistry?
Contact your pct.


FushiaFernica Sun 11-Nov-12 10:03:22

Where abouts in your mouth is the tooth?
You need to go back to the dentist, not a gp, to get some antibiotics for the infection. When I had an infected tooth my dentist told me that occasionally after the antibiotics have worked the infection can disappear. That didn't work for me so I had the tooth extracted.

YouSeveredHead Sun 11-Nov-12 10:07:52

look here op

YouSeveredHead Sun 11-Nov-12 10:08:46

You may have been charged for private dental treatment if you agreed to have private dental work done. However, you should not be asked to pay private charges for any treatment that is clinically (medically) necessary. All treatment that your dentist says you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain should be covered by NHS charges.
Most dentists provide both NHS and private treatment. Your NHS dentist should always: 
explain which treatments are available on the NHS 
explain which treatments are only available privately
make sure you know how much your NHS treatment and any private treatment will cost
NHS dental treatment
The NHS will provide all treatment that your dentist feels is clinically necessary to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy.
If your dentist says that you ‘need’ a particular type of treatment, it will be available on the NHS. You should not be asked to pay for it privately. For more information, see Which dental treatments are available on the NHS?

amarylisnightandday Sun 11-Nov-12 10:13:27

2nd opinion ASAP! I've had two root canals. 1st one was horrific and I reckon I could have sued. It got reinfected again couple of years later and I went to my new nhs dentist who told me he would try and fix it but that there might be more problems. He was brilliant and its been fine for 5 years now. He did say at the time I might need extraction etc but that he would try - paid off!
2nd one was done too by nice nhs dentist with no problems and about 1 million percent less pain. In my v humble opinion some dentists are just better than others so worth you getting looked at by someone toes before you cough up so much £

Willdoitinaminute Sun 11-Nov-12 13:19:36

Ask why the original root filling has failed & whether redoing it will be anymore successful. The dentist should discuss all options including extraction and do nothing. The specialist hospitals have set protocol on patient selection based on long term success of treatment. If they have not accepted you then ask your dentist why.

ijustwant8hours Sun 11-Nov-12 17:27:17

Thanks for all this, it is my first pre molar so quite near the front so I guess that there would be consequences of extraction.... I have had a course of antibiotics but the infection is still clearly there.

Guys refused to treat as they are oversubscribed, I am actually in Hertfordshire so it does seem a little odd that they are referring to Guys!

I don't really like or trust my dentist tbh, she always seems to very aggressively push the expensive hygienist and when I needed a crown I felt she was giving the private option a very hard sell! Also she speaks to me like I am an idiot and that puts my back up!

I will get another opinion and speak to the PCT.

Thanks again for all your input!

OP’s posts: |
KAty17359 Mon 26-Mar-18 16:29:34

I’ve got this problem now, been told my dentist can’t do a re root and I need a specialist. Or extract and implant

dahliaaa Mon 26-Mar-18 23:39:06

Friends and I were discussing this recently - NHS patients but finding it increasingly difficult to get things like root canals / crowns dune without needing to pay private prices. Argument from dentists is that the NHS does not allocate them enough time to do complex cases properly (?)

Carla1978 Mon 18-Feb-19 10:36:56


I have been told that I need a Re Root Canal procedure carried out but my current NHS dentist feels unqualified enough to save the tooth. I have located another NHS dentist with a specialist interest in this area although they are telling me that I need to go their private practice and pay to get the treatment carried out...

Does anyone know of a NHS dentist with a specialist interest in this area (Re Root Canals) in the North West or Central Uk (I am prepared to travel) that may consider me.

I have an infection and been told by Manchester Dental Hospital that this procedure is necessary. I have also been informed by the PCT that the NHS should fund this treatment.

I am becoming pretty desperate as I am in constant discomfort and distress. I was told by the specialist at Manchester Dental Hospital that I needed this treatment ASAP to avoid infection spreading to surrounding teeth.

I have called the PCT / NHS and everyone has said this treatment IS AVAILABLE on the NHS...

Please can anyone help by pointing me in the direction of a dental practitioner with some expertise in this area who is willing to accept patients on the NHS...

Kindest regards
& Thank you for taking the time to read this far smile

Krunch Wed 22-May-19 22:38:32

Hi mums...My first post on this forum.Just to say I've had a re-root canal procedure today on a previous failed root canal(done approx.15 years ago) on upper molar.My dentist informed me that it is now classified as a Level 2 so is no longer available on the NHS as was done previously.I had the option of shopping around elsewhere/have it done with my usual dentist who is qualified to do the procedure-either way it would be charged at Private cost-£500-incl.of white cap(approx.3 ×1 hour sessions over 6-7 weeks...each session approx.2 weeks apart. I decided I would stick with my local dentist as I trust him & he informed me fully of procedure & what to expect.No guarantee of success but nothing ventured nothing gained & yes fairly expensive! The only other option is severe infection & pain if left/complete extraction.Good luck

SlaterJones Sun 20-Oct-19 22:30:39

Hi Carla I’ve just read your message & I’m in exactly the same boat & also live in the NW...just wondering how you got on & if you found an NHS dentist that would do the work? I’ve been told it’ll cost £700 privately (& I need specialist root canal on both sides 😳) Thanks in advance!

Lesley153 Thu 31-Oct-19 07:14:07

How did you go on with failed root canal. In same boat and options of redoing root canal or extraction and implant. Thanks

katmunchkin Thu 31-Oct-19 22:43:20

My dentist has told me that one of my root canal treatments has failed, but as it is at the back of my mouth they won't do it again on the NHS and the options are pay to go private or take it out. I almost want t ask for a refund for the original treatment!

Lesley153 Fri 01-Nov-19 06:11:51

My problem root canal was done in Spain.. He says they can't redo it and sending me elsewhere for a specialist for repair £550+ or extraction and implant for£ 1500.When asked he said long term implant best option.. Think I will go back to Spain for a cheaper implant.

Acciocats Fri 01-Nov-19 08:03:34

Old thread, but just to say what the OP says is entirely plausible. Yes, treatment to keep your teeth and gums healthy and to relieve pain should theoretically all fall within the NHS bands but I’ve also been in a situation where I needed root canal treatment and was told by my NHS dentist it needed a specialist. The practice had a visiting specialist on a regular basis which I used but I paid a lot more than the top NHS band. When the practice tells you that your treatment is too complex for anyone in their team there’s not really much choice. Crap but there it is

Amani Mon 06-Jan-20 19:42:29

Hi. Just to say I have had a re root canal
done earlier today as I have been in discomfort on and off for nearly a year. Just to share my experience with others on this thread - I was initially referred to the ENT department of my local hospital for an Apicoectomy who refused saying that the root canal needed to be redone as it was too short. I went back to my dentist who was adamant that an Apicoectomy was required and asked me to decide what to do. So I had a consultant from the hospital telling me one course or treatment and the dentist suggesting another. I decided to go with the consultant advice and had the root canal re done with the dentist. Initially my dentist tried to discourage me from the procedure stating a 30% success rate for a re root canal and advising me to go for an Apicoectomy privately (£800+). I did decide on the re root camel treatment as a) this is what the consultant at the hospital advices b) costs. Feeling the discomfort now- fingers crossed it will settle down but feel frustrated about been advised to pay ££££ for private and for no consistent advise from the consultant and dentist....

Amani Wed 08-Jan-20 14:06:12

Ok so in pain today sadanyone with a root canal retreatment able to advise on when the pain will die down? Was fine yesterday so not sure why it has flared up today .....

Sheila35 Mon 03-Feb-20 22:47:13

Hi how is your root canal now?
I had root canal retreatment done last Tues and on Thurs I had a major flare up. Face swelled up,excuriating pain and the dentist is on leave. As advised by dentist I took paracetamol and ibuprofen, but they didnt even take the edge off the pain. Now I'm worried if its failed and I paid £650, so not cheap.

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