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Failed root canal on premolar,can I ask to be referred to specific endodontist?

(18 Posts)
wonderstuff99 Sun 14-Apr-19 03:43:36

Basically my dentist can't complete a root canal on my premolar because of its difficult roots. He's said he can refer me to the hospital for a specialist endodentist but they may not take the case. My son sees a private dentist and at his surgery,they have a endodentist and I know they take NHS patients on referrals. Can I ask for them to refer me to that surgery instead of the hospital?

I'm on a tax credits exemption certificate so don't pay for my treatment. Currently awake with an abscess on the same tooth (I have antibiotics) and am very anxious about either getting the root canal or an extraction sorted soon as I'm aware abscesses can return if the procedure isn't dont quickly after the infection clears.

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wonderstuff99 Sun 14-Apr-19 12:08:40


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Wintersnowdrop Sun 14-Apr-19 12:13:00

I was referred to a private root canal specialist by my nhs dentist and you could self refer. But I had to pay for the treatment which was very expensive. I was able to claim a small amount of the cost back with my private dental insurance.

Judystilldreamsofhorses Sun 14-Apr-19 13:35:04

I was referred to a private endodontist because my tooth had very long, curved roots. It cost almost £1,000 - although I am an NHS patient at my own surgery I had to pay for the treatment privately. The dental hospital here will only take endodontic referrals for front teeth or if someone is at medical risk from an extraction. (My tooth was an upper molar.) The hospital referral might take a while, but I don’t think you would have to pay there if they took you on.

MiniMum97 Mon 15-Apr-19 03:37:59

Where I live, you are referred and then they send you a big list of local specialists who you can pick from.

NoArmaniNoPunani Mon 15-Apr-19 04:06:07

You can ask to be referred to whichever specialist you want. You will have to pay for a private specialist even if you are an NHS patient.

wonderstuff99 Mon 15-Apr-19 09:22:44

Thanks for the answers guys. I called my two local specialists today and they confirmed this was the case. Extraction it is then.

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Perch Mon 15-Apr-19 09:27:02

Save yourself A LOT of money and just get an implant. 3xfailed rootcanals and the cost of a crown on one molar... had it extracted a few weeks ago and now having an early sited implant. Should have done this from the start.

MiniMum97 Mon 15-Apr-19 13:41:55

You can be referred to a specialist for a complex root canal under the NHS. you DO NOT need to go private.

It's always better to save the tooth if you can.

wonderstuff99 Mon 15-Apr-19 14:11:40

My dentist said he could refer me to my local hospital for treatment,but that they might not accept the referral. And I found out today its 3 months waiting list. So I might not get on and there's a high chance it will get infected again between then and now even if I did want to wait. Too many what ifs. So unfortunately I'll have to have an extraction

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MiniMum97 Mon 15-Apr-19 14:57:05

I really think it's unlikely they'll not accept the referral if you need a root canal and the dentist can't do it (this exact thing happened to me and there was doubt they would accept it). I think you would have a valid cause for complaint if it were not accepted without good "medical' reason. However you are right, I did have to wait a few months which was a worry as there is a risk of infection the whole time. I did not get a new infection though but obviously it's a gamble as you say.

Remember once the tooth is out, there's no going back and the gum and bone will recede and it can cause aging on that side of the face. As it's a premolar it may also be visible.

Good luck whatever you decide. It's not easy.

wonderstuff99 Mon 15-Apr-19 15:47:22

Thanks for your support. I already have a denture plate for 4 top teeth,have had it since my early 20's. A mixture of failed root canals that kept getting infected (hence why I'm so terrified of another abscess returning) a dead tooth from trauma and a broken tooth! So one 1 more tooth on the bottom isn't a massive deal to me.

I would have preferred root canal and yes,I agree,I think they probably wouldn't have refused me. But all the things I mentioned above as well as the fact I'm going away for 2 weeks in July (the month they said they're booking until) makes me think it's probably better to have an extraction now.

I am going to register at a new dentist and see what they say before making a decision.

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MiniMum97 Mon 15-Apr-19 16:03:38

OK good luck!

Judystilldreamsofhorses Mon 15-Apr-19 16:33:07

mini did you go to hospital to have your treatment or in a surgery? My dentist said there was absolutely no NHS specialist provision unless the tooth was a very front one, and even then it would be a huge wait and would be done at the dental hospital. Maybe different rules in different parts of the country?

wonderstuff99 Mon 15-Apr-19 16:56:13

My dentist said mine would be at the general hospital with an NHS Endodentist

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MiniMum97 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:20:23

God that's terrible! Really different to what happened here! Sounds like a real postcode lottery. Where are you both, I am in South East?

wonderstuff99 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:59:27

In in Leicester

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Judystilldreamsofhorses Mon 15-Apr-19 20:03:36

I’m in Scotland, and was told the only way the hospital would accept referral was if I was at risk of essentially dying during an extraction - eg, a patient with haemophilia. Referral to a private surgery as an NHS patient wasn’t even an option. I was happy to pay privately, although actually had to borrow the money from my mum!

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