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Would you have a root canal for your very back upper molar?

(24 Posts)
Methe Tue 20-Jan-15 20:21:23

I had the wisdom tooth that was behind it removed last year with no pain at all but since then have been getting a bad taste and smell from the area. I thought it was just the healing process (HUGE hole!) but dentist has said the remaining tooth in decayed. He has said he can try a root canal but can't guarantee it will work, or I can have it out. I have made the RCT appt for Thursday but I'm wobbling.

The tooth is more filling than tooth already tbh and it is right at the back so can't be seen but it does had an opposing tooth so is used to eat. It doesn't hurt at all.

I've had root canals before with no bother but dh helpfully told me he had one on the same tooth and it was awful (helpful!)

Not worried about the price and am more than happy with my dentist so no concerns there. I just don't know if it is worth it.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Tue 20-Jan-15 20:25:10

Is it going to be crowned as well?
I'd try and save the tooth if possible. You never know what future dental work you'll need, do it's best to try and save what you have.

Indantherene Tue 20-Jan-15 20:29:14

I had a similar situation with my very back lower molar.

Dentist tried filling it but there was infection underneath so the option was root canal or extraction. I am a wuss and picked extraction. I was in the chair for ages as the tooth broke when she tried to extract it. She struggled to get all of it and couldn't get the root. (Difficult angle).

Continued to hurt for weeks and weeks resulting in more trips to the dentist, loads of painkillers and eventually an emergency trip to the dental hospital where they removed the root in about 20 seconds.

I'm thinking the RCT might have been more successful.

Methe Tue 20-Jan-15 20:34:13

Yeah it'll be crowned too.

Last time I went the dentist told me off for drinking diet coke so I weaned myself off that and on to fizzy water only to be told yesterday that it's just as bad.

I expect I'm going to need full on dentures soon sad

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 20-Jan-15 20:34:53

I would give it a try. Just because your DH had a hard time with RCT on that tooth doesn't mean you will. Also you will miss it for eating and could change your face shape.

scarletforya Tue 20-Jan-15 20:35:08

Nope, if it's at the back and already mainly filling it'll cost plenty and eventually fail anyway. I think by the sounds of it it'd be a waste of money.

Tzibeleh Tue 20-Jan-15 20:39:25

25y ago I had a RCT on the tooth in front if the one you describe, which was also 'more filling than tooth'. The RCT has held up, never needed anything doing to it. The first filling after the RCT was white, and lasted 2y. The 2nd was amalgam, and lasted 20y. Eventually that filling failed, and now I have a crown on that tooth.

So IME a RCT on a chewing, heavily filled molar is worthwhile.

Methe Tue 20-Jan-15 20:40:29

Dh has had loads of RCTs and a shit load of other dental work so if he says it's horrid I'm inclined to believe him.

It's an NHS dentist so £220.

LammilyDoll Tue 20-Jan-15 20:41:16

I had this done about 15 years ago, when the treatment was available on the NHS. It was fine, although time-consuming, as each of the three roots had to be done at separate appointments. Definitely try to keep it, if possible, as you never know what will happen to your other teeth in the future. And implants are bloody expensive!!!

LammilyDoll Tue 20-Jan-15 20:46:32

£220 . . . that's interesting! My NHS dentist told me that RCT is no longer available for molars, and I'll need to get the next one done privately. It would be lovely if she was wrong about this!

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 20-Jan-15 20:49:46

In my experience everyone's RCT experience is different. From 10 years working for dentist.

Peedie Tue 20-Jan-15 20:50:29

I'd go for the root canal. I'm sure I've had it done on that tooth and the worst part for me was keeping my mouth open so wide for so long.as root canals go, it was no different to any of the (many) others I've had. Good luck!

Mrsmorton Tue 20-Jan-15 20:50:39

RCT is definitely available on the NHS. What isn't available is specialist treatment such as re-RCT or treatment of complex teeth which require a specialist endodontist.

Your dentist is lying if she says it's not available, up for a huge slap on the wrist if you complained to the commissioners.

Methe Tue 20-Jan-15 20:52:49

We are very very fortunate here in that we have an absolutely brilliant NHS dentist. I think they do training and the head honcho (my dentist) is fantastic and we never have any problems getting appointments.. In fact I phomed on Saturday afternoon because a (different!) filling had fallen out and was in the chair at 9am yesterday. It is fantastic.

I've had several root canals over the last 4 years, as has DH.

FailOfTheCentury Tue 20-Jan-15 20:55:31

DP has had lots of root canals and crowns and says that tooth is no worse than any of the others (except as a PP says, holding your mouth open for that long - he had a clicky jaw for ages after some of his molar work).

Methe Tue 20-Jan-15 21:02:13

Yeah dh did say a lot of the discomfort was having to have his mouth open for so long.

Lammily I hope you get your RCT!

marvellousmistermars Tue 20-Jan-15 21:14:49

If price is not a problem I would have it done. You will def need a crown though because the RC tooth will be fragile. I had a RC and crown on my second-to-back molar (i.e. could have had it out without any cosmetic effect) on the basis that it's better to save a tooth if you can because in the future there will probably be some you can't. The RC did not hurt at all - the nerve was totally dead. Apparently when RC is nasty it's usually because the root is still alive/partially alive and infected, so that may have been what your DH had.

Methe Tue 20-Jan-15 21:25:53

The tooth in front of it already has already been RCT'd and have a fabulous gold crown on it.

Not looking forward to it either way tbh!

Redhead11 Tue 20-Jan-15 21:29:56

I had an NHS RCT done last year and today i suffered through the prep work for getting a crown in 2 weeks time. It was on a next-to-back upper molar and if the abscess had persisted any longer (3 re-occurances, so 4 times in all) i would have had the tooth pulled. i have found the whole thing incredibly stressful, but i am also dental phobic, so everything regarding the dentist is incredibly stressful.

Methe Tue 20-Jan-15 21:41:33

Phone your next appointment goes well redhead smile

Methe Thu 22-Jan-15 13:21:36

I had the RCT this morning and, apart from it taking 2 and a quarter hour, it was absolutely fine smile

FailOfTheCentury Thu 22-Jan-15 14:06:15

<round of applause> Well done smile

Mrsmorton Thu 22-Jan-15 18:01:54

I'm a dentist and I CANNOT WAIT for the day I don't have to doo root canal treatment any more. It's sooooo boring.
Over 2 hours is epic for everyone concerned. Good work!!

Methe Thu 22-Jan-15 20:09:41

It wasn't the most exciting 2 hrs of my life either MrsM but it must be awful having to do it every day shock

I wonder have I won the prize for the longest single dental treatment ever?

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