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Should I attempt root canal treatment on my molar or have it removed?

(24 Posts)
hudyerwheesht Tue 02-Jun-15 13:12:03

Had emergency treatment this morning on a badly decayed molar (no abscess, just deep cavity) and my dentist says due to the bent angle of the root RCT is going to be tricky.

I'm worried that this is going to hurt. Just having it drilled for the temporary filling was bad enough because the whole area was hurting. At one point I could feel pain when he was drilling until he stopped and put some anaesthetic inside(I assume that's what it was- tasted foul but it wasn't as bad after).
This was despite the fact half my face was totally numb and I'm assuming this is because the nerve is still alive, unlike in the case of an abscess(I've had a few). I can handle dentist work so long as I can't feel anything but lying there anticipating pain every time he drills is torture.

Would I be better off just getting it removed?

Any dentists around? Or anyone had anything similar?

hudyerwheesht Tue 02-Jun-15 15:52:19


hudyerwheesht Tue 02-Jun-15 20:19:19

Ok, now been in mind-numbing pain since the anaesthetic wore off so more desperate for any advice...

JammyGeorge Tue 02-Jun-15 21:09:12

I don't know about the treatment but I have had one molar removed on either side when I was much younger (under 21) due to abscesses.

On one side my wisdom tooth came through so I have 2 back teeth. On the other side my wisdom tooth didn't come through and I have one tooth left.

I have no problems eating etc and the gaps have closed a little but I do worry what will happen when my remaining one molar has problems as I'll be left with no lower teeth on that side.

So if you do end up having it removed it'll be ok but if I had my time again I would of fought to keep them!

gamerchick Tue 02-Jun-15 21:12:36

Get it out.. Life's too short and the failure rate is low for root canals.

I go by the as long as there is ten teeth top and bottom left then get the twat pulled.

Mrsmorton Tue 02-Jun-15 21:40:07

Ten teeth top and bottom is pretty good advice actually, we call it the reduced dental arch.

If it's got a big hole, it may be best just to get rid. Sometimes we fanny around for years and ono when the tooth is gone does the patient actually really get some relief. Ask the dentist to level with you and give you a rough prognosis... don't ask them to decide for you, that's not how we roll anymore!

Methe Tue 02-Jun-15 21:42:23

I had this exact dilemma a few months ago and decided to try the RCT and crown and it's been fine. It was a tricky procedure as apparently I have 'kinked' roots and took a long time but since it was done it's been no trouble.

Glad I didn't have it removed tbh.

DieSchottin93 Tue 02-Jun-15 21:44:23

Hmm, if he's said RCT will be tricky because the root is it a funny angle I'd be tempted just to get it out. I had RCT on my very back tooth and it took almost 6 months and many trips to the dentist til my treatment was finally finished and it was very sore at times - it was horrible when she was filing down the infected canal. The only reason I opted for RCT was because my mum said I'm only young and should try and keep as many of my teeth as possible for as long as I can grin

dingalong Tue 02-Jun-15 21:47:37

I'd heart shaped roots and went for treatment with a specialised dentist. Found out I was pregnant (form filing eureka moment and quick dash to chemist for test) its been fine since

awishes Tue 02-Jun-15 21:52:26

Had this a year ago. Petrified! It took 6 appointments and lots of anaesthetic but it has been worth it. I have no gap and no pain! Go for it!

LinkDat Tue 02-Jun-15 21:56:23

Out! Good luck

Notoneofyourlittlethings Tue 02-Jun-15 21:58:06

Out out out! Gone, no more complications , pain, or expense .

Lunastarfish Tue 02-Jun-15 22:00:21

Remove it. I've wasted money on root canal on a decayed tooth (dentist did advice removal in the first place). Problem became worse and was eventually removed and I was £500 poorer. I am missing two molars and don't have any trouble eating etc

ragged Tue 02-Jun-15 22:01:26

I'd want to ask my dentist for copy of the X-rays & get a second dentist opinion. And more explanation on 'what is tricky'.

hudyerwheesht Tue 02-Jun-15 22:18:44

Thanks for the replies and advice. I have climbing the walls with pain since the anaesthetic wore off and am on 2 types of painkillers and wine simultaneously but most of the time it's barely helped and at others I've been in tears.

So I'm now worried that due to the kinked root vs straight drill incompatibility (as explained by dentist) plus the nerve still being alive that the actual RCT is going to hurt both during (albeit for brief periods, but that's still fucking terrifying) and after - similar to today where I've felt as though I've been repeatedly punched in the jaw.

I still don't get why I need RCT if there is no abscess. Also, why can't RCT be done under a general anaesthetic?

Any more thoughts would be welcome and appreciated.

Methe Tue 02-Jun-15 22:36:59

If it hurt you weren't given enough anaesthetic, surely? I always have to have injections in strange places in my mouth but since my dentist worked out that pny nerves aren't where they should be I've had no pain. My RCT didn't hurt a bit despite taking an hour and a half or more.

allinall Wed 03-Jun-15 21:23:41

It is very hard to get total pain relief during an RCT if the nerve is dying. I won't bore you with my nerve pain troubles connected to dental work, especially as my problem is rare and so probably not relevant to you.

But I did learn that pain when the nerve is dying is awful, and although most of the pain during an RCT can be relieved, sometimes there is still some brief pain.

However, an extraction is not pain free afterwards, so perhaps avoiding all pain is unrealistic!

The main point I wanted to make is to get an endodontist to give an opinion and to do the RCT if you decide to go for it. I had a really tricky one done by an endodontist ( a specialist in root canal stuff) and it was quick, careful, and has been a success. He had the right tools and used strong magnification so he could really see that it was all cleaned properly. Much better than a general dentist. Cost more but worth every penny.

codandchipstwice Wed 03-Jun-15 21:30:12

I am recovering from having molar out after 5 years of failed root canal hell. If your dentist is not confident then get it out.

I would never have another root canal again.

Good luck and neurofen plus

gordonpym Thu 04-Jun-15 02:28:17

Which tooth is it? If it is the last one, removing it might be an option, otherwise it will just look awful. You don't want to have gaps in your mouth. Root canal is a complex procedure, but its aim is to save a tooth.

hairypaws Thu 04-Jun-15 03:09:04

I had this last year and I will be honest and say that at times i felt really traumatised and it was very painful for months as I opted for crown first but that really aggravated the root and in the end I needed RCT.

With hindsight I wd have got RCT immediately as it solved all the pain. Glad now I saved tooth - albeit with a crown.

vickibee Thu 04-Jun-15 03:33:15

I had a root canal a few weeks ago and my tooth has become infected, went back to dentist yesterday and he has given me antibiotics. It is very painful and I am awake at this unearthly hour because I can't sleep. The pain is affecting the whole of the lhs of my face. Dentist refused to remove it a last resort. I am suffering !!

grace11 Thu 04-Jun-15 18:30:30

I had a root canal last year after my tooth broke and got an infection. There were two canals in my tooth the dentist later discovered so it took a fair bit of time. I found the procedure very uncomfortable and seemed to go on and on. Anyway after all that my tooth wouldn't settle and he referred me to a specialist in Harley street for another RCT. She was faster and better and I thought it was all fine until about two weeks ago when my crown broke and now the remaining tooth has come off so it looks like extraction after all that expense. Failure rate of root canals is fairly high and the life span of the treatment isn't necessarily that long either - I was told 5 years (but only after everything failed last week the truth came out). If you decide RCT go for a specialist but looking back, if my tooth was a molar, I'd probably just have it taken out (mine is a premolar so I really need a tooth where it is). Good luck! - Might help for you to read through the exact procedure of an RTC to help you decide.

hudyerwheesht Fri 05-Jun-15 10:53:48

Thanks for all the replies.

It's a molar so I don't mind a gap there - I'm just terrified about having it removed.

I don't think I would get through the RCT without some pain, as a PP said, especially as the root is kinked so I'm trying to muster the courage to have it out.
Most of my previous RCT teeth have broken, cracked or had bits fall off so I know they are not reliable and would prefer to have it removed but I'm scared shitless about having it out under a local anaesthetic.

codandchipstwice Fri 05-Jun-15 11:31:59

I started a thread in chat as I was terrified, but GP gave me valium, took 3 and whilst didn't feel much different was totally compliant and not phased about being in the chair and having it done, which is sooo different to the week before where I left in floods of tears as I couldn't do it.

Other option is to get it done under IV sedation but there's quite a wait for this, I was on the list but it had abscessed really badly and had to come out before even my assessment appt had come through.

Good luck

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