Root Canal vs. extraction - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 79 Old 11-21-2001, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, it's me, flower, with my newer, flashier username!







Just wanted to give you the latest installation of our epic tale of "The Tooth Infection that Wouldn't Go Away". I think the last time I posted, my 5yo (then, 6yo now) had seemed to kick the post-pulpotomy infection on his own, and I was ready to kick the pediatric dentist in the shins.







Well, that was not the end of the story.







A couple weeks later, that bubble showed up again, so we had that sucker yanked out!!!
: End of problem, hopefully. We drove the two hour drive to his old, "good" dentist, who extracted it gently without putting any kind of spacer in. His idea was to wait and see if we really need it and sent me home with a tool so that I could periodically check to see if the space was changing and then put a spacer in if needed. I loved that idea, as it was a lot less traumatic for ds (the other dentist said a spacer would have to be attached to a crown on the back molar). What are your thoughts on this? Does this make sense?



Thank you!



P.S. I read somewhere on the boards that your babies turned one--already! What happened? Did I blink? Hope it was a fun birthday!
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#2 of 79 Old 11-22-2001, 06:57 PM
 
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Wow, flower, welcome back!

I'm so glad you're rid of the "tooth that wouldn't die". No more infection, that's the important thing.

I'm so glad it went well. What a trooper your boy has been. Tell him I'm so proud of him, too, and give him a big hug from me! I hope the tooth fairy paid big for such a hard won tooth!

Yes, the babies are one! I can't believe it myself. Wasn't I just pregnant? The party itself was somewhat marred by a sister in law who kept trying to steal the show for her own 5 month old. Ugh. But a landmark event, nonetheless! Thanks for remembering!
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#3 of 79 Old 11-22-2001, 08:46 PM
 
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Just another note to say thanks! I like signatures, just didn't know what to do for mine. When I saw yours, I remembered one of my favorite quotes, so now I have a signature! Thanks for joggin' the ol' memory!

If you hate that there are two quotes from John on here, I will gladly delete mine! You were there first!
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#4 of 79 Old 11-22-2001, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love that there are two quotes from John!!! He's so quotable, isn't he? I almost used that one when I came across the one I decided on.



The space monitoring device is just a...well, I guess I don't know the word for it! He just gave us this little tool with the hook on one end, like the hygienist uses for scraping off plaque, and on the other end is another metal poky-thing (so technical, I know) that's straight but bent into a right angle and has several 3mm stripes on the end of it. So I just lay it across the gap and make sure it stays at 9mm. Not super precise but I guess it will do!



Too bad about the party...don't I know about sisters-in-law!! :
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#5 of 79 Old 11-28-2001, 01:22 AM
 
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Yes, John had an inimitable spirit; thanks for "sharing"
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#6 of 79 Old 11-30-2001, 10:30 PM
 
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hello im new on this forum..
ok so my holistic dentist says that i can choose between a root canal or an extraction... that root canals leave you with an underlyoing infection? is this true..
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#7 of 79 Old 12-05-2001, 02:16 PM
 
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thank you i will look into it further... oh and i only have half a tooth now so it didnt seem so bad.. its been infected for a while and im getting sick of the recurring ear infections so losing the other half didnt seem so bad... but i wanted another pov. thanks again
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#8 of 79 Old 12-13-2001, 10:45 AM
 
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hello again.. well i read up on it and decided for the root canal and i went in yest. the dentist {who had formely advised me to have an extraction, and told me hed have to refer me for a r.c.} told me he can do it himslef. should i get a second opinion? {should i trust this guy?}
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#9 of 79 Old 12-13-2001, 05:12 PM
 
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well i assume hes competent enough to do it... the appt is for today so i just decided to go through with it... i have been overly mistrustful in the past... i shoulda asked you sooner! oh well, wish me luck. how long afterwards will it continue to hurt?
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#10 of 79 Old 12-14-2001, 12:01 PM
 
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I'm taking my 2 year old daughter in to the dentist monday for a front tooth that is going black. She chipped it last Easter and it was fine and then all the sudden started to go black. I'm so worried about this, I thought it would be fine. I never had a dentist look at it because it seemed fine (which I know now was a mistake) and I didn't care about the chip and she never complained about it. But now what will happen? I'm mostly worried about her being afraid. And if they need to remove it, what will they do? Would they have to put her out? I don't know if anyone has answers for me, but I'm so scared and of course don't want to show my fear to her so I thought I would vent out my fear here. Thanks and especially thanks if anyone has any advise!
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#11 of 79 Old 01-03-2002, 09:21 PM
 
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How'd it go, grisletine?
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#12 of 79 Old 01-03-2002, 09:25 PM
 
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SJane, how did it go at the dentist? Were they able to save her tooth?

Poor little girl, and poor mama!
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#13 of 79 Old 01-04-2002, 01:18 PM
 
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it went alright... the only part that actually hurt afterwards was the tooth behind it... because he put some metal thing around it to hold a dam in place. he was rough about that, but he did a good job. i have to go back still to get it finished.
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#14 of 79 Old 01-04-2002, 10:24 PM
 
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Hurray! Good for you, I'm glad you got to keep the tooth, sadie. It's worth it!
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#15 of 79 Old 01-10-2002, 02:33 AM
 
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Hi Smilemomma and everyone else,

I posted in the last month or so about my 6yo son who had 4-5 cavities and the dentist who refused to give him composite fillings. Well, today I took him in to another dentist, and she says he actually has 7 cavities, but she will do the composites (thank goodness). Also, one of his front teeth has been kind of grey/discolored for awhile, and turns out to be abcessed right next to or in front of his adult tooth. She told me the best option is to pull the tooth. A root canal (or something like it) is a possibility, but she said they are only 30% or so effective.

So what exactly is an abcess? Is there a possibility of treating it w/out pulling the tooth? I really hate to pull out a tooth that may not fall out for another year or more, but I also don't want to put him through a root canal and end up having to pull it anyway, especially after 7 fillings.

Just wondering if there is any other way....

thanks
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#16 of 79 Old 01-11-2002, 02:21 AM
 
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Thanks again, Smilemomma.

Your opinion really helps, and gives me a better perspective on things. It never occured to me he might think it's cool. And he is rather anxious for the tooth fairy to start visiting. I think I will take the x-ray to my dentist just to get another opinion, as I certainly couldn't see much on it. Also the dentist I took him to in Nov. said the tooth was fine. Is it possible the abcess developed in the last 2 months? His tooth has been grey a lot longer than that.

I will check out the archives and earlier threads.
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#17 of 79 Old 01-11-2002, 10:33 PM
 
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That's helpful, albeit gross info. I just wonder why the 1st dentist told me it was fine and we could leave it alone until it fell out on it's own. She never mentioned a possibility of an abcess developing or that we would need to keep an eye on it or anything. Since this isn't planned to be done until the end of Feb., I will have time to get a few more opinions and do some more research.

Have a great weekend!
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#18 of 79 Old 01-14-2002, 02:27 AM
 
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You know, Smilemomma, I've mentioned to ds he may have to get the tooth out and he doesn't seem the least bit phased...he did ask if they will be using "yankers" (from the Berenstein Bears dentist book) and I decided it's better if the dentist describes how things will be done rather than have me guess. The good thing is he is not focused on the stuff *I* worry about, he just wants to get another ring out of the prize box so he can play Bilbo Baggins. Gotta love it.

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#19 of 79 Old 01-14-2002, 11:24 PM
 
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One of the greatest things about children is the wonderful world they live in. How nice they let us visit with them!

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#20 of 79 Old 01-22-2002, 05:46 PM
 
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My almost 4 yo dd has two cavities between her two front teeth. Our regular dentist suggested that these should be filled, but since my dd won't sit still he referred us out to a dentist that can do oral sedation. This other dentist looked at the x-ray and said she would do a pulpotomy on these front teeth. She indicated that she would do this not because she saw nerve involvement, but because if there was decay _near_ the nerve she didn't want to risk future nerve involvement.

When I told this to our regular dentist's assistant she sounded alarmed. I then spoke with our regular dentist who indicated that I should 1) trust the second dentists opinion, but also 2) he would not himself recommend a pulpotomy on a 4 yo's front teeth. He said where there is nerve involvement he recommends extraction of the teeth.

My daughter is not complaining of pain or discomfort in her teeth. My questions are:

1. Can there be nerve involvement without my daughter feeling it?

2. If there is nerve involvement, which is better -- a pulpotomy or an extraction?

3. Should I be concerned that my dentist will do a pulpotomy where one is not necessary?
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#21 of 79 Old 01-22-2002, 07:54 PM
 
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We have the same problem with my 3-year-old, and it's causing me much stress. I will be very interested in seeing responses.
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#22 of 79 Old 01-25-2002, 05:10 PM
 
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my son also had the same decay area between the front teeth .It started when he was about 4 also ..One dentist wanted to fill the teeth ...the decay went quite high between those teeth .We were going to do what was suggested then my dh got tranfered and we saw a new ped dentist and he said as long as there was no pain ( he did not expect any) that he would leave them alone he told me that the decay usually stops and does not go much high rarely does he have to treat that area unless decay is at the gum line ....we took his advice and 4 years later when he was 8 they fell out and we had no problems.....I have since been to other ped dentists ( insurance changed ) and they agreed on that treatment plan ...Good luck!
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#23 of 79 Old 01-25-2002, 06:24 PM
 
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Wow that is great. My daughter's decay is high but not at the gums. Also she is not feeling any pain. Can any of the dentist's on the list comment on the advisability of us just waiting to see if the decay gets worse?
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#24 of 79 Old 01-25-2002, 10:43 PM
 
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Also remember some kids loose their teeth early .....My dentist also said if it did get painful and the tooth was even the slightest bit loose he could help "wiggle it out".That would be a lot lees expensive then doing a pulp and losing the toothe just month later.....
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#25 of 79 Old 02-06-2002, 06:05 PM
 
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i had a root canal today of a pre-molar; have to say that in general it went better than the molar one four years ago. although it did seem like the dr was having problems. not really anything speicifc (there did seem to be a lot of small sighs) but just a sense of 'intensity'. i'm passing it off to her level of concentration, but i did feel that when i had a need for something little (wet my cheek, towell under my head) i was being a nuisance.

then again, the day after is where i had my problems last time

dr told me to call if the pain was severe and she would call in a prescription

while i'm not in agony so far, i do resent the fact that i'll have to call for. i'd much prefer being given the piece of paper and then have it in MY CONTROL as to whether i need the extra meds or not. i am a grown up in my 30's - let me have control over my pain....

maybe this is what it feels like to be a three year old - no sense of control over yourself
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#26 of 79 Old 02-06-2002, 08:00 PM
 
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Terri, I am glad yours went pretty well. I just had my 2nd root canal in about October and it has been a horror story. The root canal itself went fine but about a week later I was still in pain, so I went back into the dentist and he ground that tooth down (after making a mistake and grinding the wrong one) When I got home I felt the need to floss and when I flossed all the OLD filling work popped out and left me with about 1/2 a tooth. I have since been off and on in agony and went to see an endontist. He said there is no reason for the pain. I couldn't bring myself to go back to the dentist who did the work so I went back to a previous dentist. Both the old dentist and the endontist say there is a leak in the filling work and perhaps bacteria inside and also a fracture in the tooth. The only solution is for me to have another root canal done in that tooth. That will cost me $800 more. I am just at my wits end about it. I feel like I may as well just have it pulled. I am into alternative medicine I only wish I could deal with my own dental. The real kicker is that although there was a cavity in the tooth before the root canal there was never any pain. He told me it was close to the root and so he would just root canal it. I can't believe I haven't learned from this. I am sure there are some really great dentists out there but I can't help but think most of them just want my money and perhaps exaggerate the extent of damage or the work that needs to be done. No offense to smilemomma
Sorry to vent here but I just felt the need to tell my horror story.
Sheri
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#27 of 79 Old 02-11-2002, 04:19 PM
 
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I haven't been this depressed in years.

I told them I didn't want x-rays but they insisted it was the only way to see cavities. So I said, "Well how do you know where to drill if you can't see the cavities with your naked eye?" She brushed that one off.

Anyway, I got 5 x-rays.

Results: 7 cavities, 2 that possibly need root canals. They want to put in 2 crowns and one bridge. Insurance covers the mercury fillings at $18 per tooth (no thanks!) or I can get composite for $85 a tooth. Root canal is $235 per tooth and crowns are $535. They also want to do a deep clean for $300.

So my question is: Is all this necessary? I don't mind having cavities filled, but do I need root canals or crowns or bridges or deep cleans or what?
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#28 of 79 Old 02-11-2002, 08:07 PM
 
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i am no way belittling your experience

i am however very interested in where you live!!!!!

i just paid $630 for the root canal ONLY of a non-molar!!!!!

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#29 of 79 Old 02-11-2002, 08:38 PM
 
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Here in France, I just got two side-by-side root canals, two inlay cores, two high-quality porcelain over metal crowns, and some temporary crowns (while waiting for the others to come in) for a little over $1100 with a fabulous dental surgeon. Half will be reimbursed by the gov't.

I feel for you Erin

If you really aren't sure it's necessary, get a second opinion!

Good luck!
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#30 of 79 Old 02-11-2002, 08:41 PM
 
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Does your dentist accept any dental discount plans? If not , maybe you could switch dentists. They are different from insurance. You pay an annual fee, either all at once or in monthly payments--as little as $10 a month. You get great discounts on dental work. Initial exams and xrays are usually free, cleanings at least half price, crowns around $300, etc. I have the Savon plan, and I need a huge amount of dental work too--it's still expensive, but I'm saving at least $5000 by using my plan. Do a search for dental discount plans online. There are quite a few out there, and most sites list participating dentists in your area. I sound like an ad, but I really think plans are great if you can find a good dentists who accepts them. Good luck--sorry to hear about your teeth. I totally relate!
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