A few years ago, I cracked a bottom molar on a hard pretzel and my filling fell out, but never went to the dentist fearing I'd have to pay money we didn't have to fix the tooth (we had no insurance, I was in college, we had two small kiddos). Over time, the tooth got worse and I finally finished school and took myself to the dentist.
At the end of August 2011, I went in to get the tooth looked at - I ended up needing a root canal / crown. The dentist drilled out all four of my canals, and apparently I have really long canals - long story short, the total procedure took about four hours, and by the end I was miserable. Less than two weeks later, the dentist called and had me come back in to get the permanent crown.
Time passed, and the tooth never felt quite "right." It always seemed higher than the other teeth, and was really uncomfortable to chew on. I went back in, he drilled the crown down just a bit, and it seemed better but not perfect.
Fast forward about six months to this past January 2012. I noticed a pimple-like bump on my gums, just below the tooth that endured the procedure. I popped it, it seemed to go away for a while, then would return only to fill with pus again. Gross.
I recently went back to the dentist, only to discover the old dentist that originally did the procedure has since retired, and he sold his business.
I went back to the same office, but spoke to one of the new dentists, explained what happened, and after a series of x-rays, he told me that there is an infection under the crown, and I need to get the root canal done again. In shock, I pondered how I paid this office over two thousand dollars and four hours of my time only to have to do it all over again? He prescribed me a course of antibiotics that did nothing - the infection is still present in my gums, and I'm left not knowing what to do.
I was basically notified that since they don't do this type of procedure in their office, I'll have to see an endodontist to get the specialized treatment. The office made it clear they're not willing to pay for the procedure.
So my question is this: what would you do? Should I return to this office and try to get them to pay for the treatment anyway? Although the new practice had nothing to do with the original root canal, they DID buy the practice, along with it's debt, and it's patients. I don't think it's right that I'd have to pay again.
Or should I just forget about it? Live with the infection, and maybe in about a year I can budget in another root canal?
I'm curious to know, and appreciate your input.
I feel your pain (literally). I am waiting to see if I need a THIRD root canal on the same tooth. I paid for the first one, the dentist redid the second one for free (I think - not entirely sure about that though). Even though I have full dental coverage, the insurer won't cover a third root canal on the same tooth.
I can't really offer advice, but as I see it you have a few options. Pay to have it done again (and hope for the best); have it pulled and get an implant, or wait and see. What you described (the pus filled bump) sounds like an abscess. Were you in a lot of pain? Mine abscessed twice and it was the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. I would do just about anything to avoid that kind of pain again. Some teeth just have really long and complicated root systems, so I don't think you could argue an error on the dentist's part - but I'd probably try anyway.
If you haven't done it yet, *don't* redo it. You can force them to pull the tooth. If they 'don't perform that procedure', leave the office and find someone who does.
They never tell you that the procedure won't do jack for the underlying infection. It's *under* your tooth, as well as inside it. Which means replacing the filling inside the canal won't take care of it. If you leave the abscess there, it will probably go up into the bones of your face, like mine did after leaving it for years. Mine is up in the bones around my eye and it can only really be managed now, not cured.
Luckily, my tooth burst open in the middle of them refilling it, otherwise, I would have gone longer with the source of the infection in my face. They stopped the procedure and sent me out to someone that pulled teeth. And, yeah, I still had to pay for the botched procedure, and *then* had to pay to have it pulled too, afterwards. I swear, these people are criminals.
When my only other bad tooth lost it's filling, I went in and they said it needed a root canal (since the diet change, I don't have any more teeth issues, only leftover ones). I told them to stick it and I wanted it pulled. The dentist actually called me crazy. He said 'this is a perfectly good tooth'. I said, yeah, it is now, but it won't be when you're done with it. He pulled it and that's the end of my teeth problems. I wish I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have this permanent infection to deal with.
Oh, and if you notice some clicking in your jaw, that's the TMJ from their crappy crown job.
Good luck. Here's hoping you don't have as many problems as I did.