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Old 02-27-2011, 04:38 PM
 
16 posts, read 89,621 times
Reputation: 22

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I need some major advice.

I went to the dentist today, and he told me that I needed to act quickly on my two back bottom molars. They both need root canals in order to be saved, and can be saved, but need them quickly.

My problem is, I cannot afford the whole process. He told me upfront, that the regular root canal process will involve more than $1000 per tooth, with the crowns necessary to prevent fracturing. He then went into a further complication, of how I would need gum surgery because of some gum-tooth-mouth ratio, without which would simply lead to me developing gum disease once I had the crowns. $$$$$

I don't have dental insurance, and despite the fact that this is my sixth year teaching, I am still living paycheck to paycheck. The dentist essentially gave me contradictory information, telling me I had to act quickly, but saying I could take it one tooth at a time. I might be able to do one now, and have a whopping $200 left over for my bills. But, I wouldn't be able to afford the other.

He did say I could extract, but that it would be a shame.

If I extract, I am looking at a few hundred dollars. I also lose two important teeth forever. Some day in the future, maybe I could get implants, or I could live with two less teeth. I am already missing three. You would think I was an old woman, not 27.

I just basically need a few opinions. My mouth is a mess, and I have very little money. After this, I have more to do. Am I crazy to extract? I just can't see any way to afford the root canals route. Help!
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Redneckville, NJ
4,751 posts, read 6,311,778 times
Reputation: 1733
Are they wisdom teeth? If so, extraction....no question. If not, then I would say try to save them. They wouldn't necessarily need a crown of the tooth structure is good. I had a root canal recommended for a wisdom tooth years ago and just had them pull it. I still have the other three wisdom teeth. Had a root canal on a back upper molar about a year ago. Was told did not need a crown.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
11,294 posts, read 16,626,706 times
Reputation: 16594
If they are -not- wisdom teeth, get a second opinion. In fact, I'd get a second opinion anyway. It sounds like whatever is going on with your back jaw, wasn't explained very well. Surgery for gum-mouth-tooth ratio? Not making all that much sense. Definitely don't let anyone extract a back molar *unless* it's a wisdom tooth OR a molar that a root canal won't save.

Most often, dentists will work out plans to accommodate people who can't pay the full amount up front. Usually, *especially* in the case of a crown, they would do the root canal first, and put a temporary crown on top to protect it. You pay only for the root canal itself, at that point. You would still need to return for a permanent filling - they put in a temp filling to let the work set first. At that point, you would pay for the permanent filling and the crown, assuming you needed one. If the tooth is damaged and has to be ground down during the root canal, you -will- need a crown.

You should also be able to find dentists who allow you to work out payment plans. You'll find independent dentists, *and* big dental groups, tend to be more accommodating with these than small or mid-sized groups or dual partnerships.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:45 PM
 
4,120 posts, read 7,697,886 times
Reputation: 4446
Default Too many dishonest dentists

Although it appears our ages are quite different, I can offer you some advice from my experience. My dentist sent me to a periodondist as I had bone loss (I was 50 years old). To make a long story short, I went to three different perios until I found an honest one. One wanted to do surgery on all quads and had me going every two weeks before even starting surgery, second one did surgeries, but pulled several molars because of abcesses which could have been saved. After a year wanted to do more surgeries, told me they were emergencies. Went to another perio for a second opinion and he told me I didn't need another surgery, just get a good cleaning every three months. I have been doing that for about ten years and haven't had another problem. I strongly suggest you get at least one other opinion before this dentist "takes you for your teeth."

My dentist (also a personal friend) told me unfortunately there are more dishonest dentists and honest ones.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Boston MA
137 posts, read 355,269 times
Reputation: 164
I am just overall hostile and bitter towards dentists/dentistry myself. It has to be one of the biggest rackets going.

My girlfriend slipped in heel boots on slippery floors during the winter and broke her two front teeth. It was awful, and not due to just the pain of the fall and busted lip; she had a beautiful smile, straight, white teeth.

Root canals, posts, crowns, and the list goes on and on.....$6 - 7K total. I understand medical procedures are expensive, but they always seemed to want the money up front - she just recently graduated college and lacked finances and family support - it's like they expect you to say "One second, let me pull the 10 grand out of my purse". I could even understand if this procedure was "cosmetic" and wanted due to vanity, but it was an accident; no difference between falling and breaking your arm.

Thats what was frustrating. Dental insurance covers little else other than x-rays and cleanings.

Oh and one more thing - dentists aren't doctors! Hahah
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
11,294 posts, read 16,626,706 times
Reputation: 16594
So, it's the dentist's fault that your girlfriend chose to wear high heels on slippery floors in the winter. It's your dentist's fault that your girlfriend busted her front teeth. It's the dentist's fault that her insurance didn't cover the damage. It's the dentist's fault that she had enough damage that repair - to FRONT teeth where actually needing them to LOOK good, is expensive. It's the dentist's fault that the vast majority of people who get billed for work, after the work is done, don't pay - and therefore, the dentist typically requires payment up front. It's the dentist's fault that when it comes to work -needing- to be done, it makes absolutely no difference whether it's because it looks better, or because it was an accident.

Sounds like your first statement was dead on:
Quote:
I am just overall hostile and bitter towards dentists/dentistry myself.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Boston MA
137 posts, read 355,269 times
Reputation: 164
Quote:
So, it's the dentist's fault that your girlfriend chose to wear high heels on slippery floors in the winter. It's your dentist's fault that your girlfriend busted her front teeth. It's the dentist's fault that her insurance didn't cover the damage. It's the dentist's fault that she had enough damage that repair - to FRONT teeth where actually needing them to LOOK good, is expensive. It's the dentist's fault that the vast majority of people who get billed for work, after the work is done, don't pay - and therefore, the dentist typically requires payment up front. It's the dentist's fault that when it comes to work -needing- to be done, it makes absolutely no difference whether it's because it looks better, or because it was an accident.

Sounds like your first statement was dead on:
Relax buddyModerator cut: rude It's no ones fault. Dental insurance is a joke; I'd rather pay into a saving account then participate in a useless plan. Funny, the dentists do all kinds of "charity work" outside the country - they must write it off as a charity tax and get the money back anyway. Win - win situation.

I've was nieve and thought maybe dental insurance was actually useful - lesson learned for the both of us. A friend is a oral and maxillofacial surgeon resident, you know, a real MD - he said I should have went to him....

Oh well, live and learn...
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
11,294 posts, read 16,626,706 times
Reputation: 16594
I guess the "friend" you "should have went to" didn't mention that oral and maxillofacial surgery is a specialty of DENTISTRY. So y'know, that means, he's a dentist.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Boston MA
137 posts, read 355,269 times
Reputation: 164
No he is a MD with that specialty. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a surgeon who corrects a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissue.

Sorry, the "dentist" who removes 4th molars are oral surgeons......


Moderator cut: personal attack

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 02-28-2011 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Syracuse
78 posts, read 314,213 times
Reputation: 93
To the op,

Is the dental professional you are seeing your dentist or an endodontist? Regardless, the most important thing you should know is that you do not need a crown immediately after having a root canal. I would have the two teeth go through the root canals and then, depending on your teeth, you will get the core and fill by your dentist. After this process it would be a good idea to get the crowns as soon as you can afford it because they are molars which you use quite often. Implants are roughly the same as a root canal as far as price but much more involved. I would try to save the teeth if you can. Also, the gum laser is typically done around the time you get the crowns so that procedure can wait. As long as you take care and don't eat any jaw breakers the two molars should hold up for awhile with the core/fill. Good hygiene is essential and a fluoride rinse is beneficial.

I have had extensive and ongoing teeth issues please feel free to message me with any further questions. ( 23 root canals, jaw surgery, etc. from a progressive autoimmune disease )
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