gutted - told I need a tooth extracted

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
6 replies 1.1K views
clairebclaireb Forumite
142 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving

I have had an ongoing saga with a top molar, briefly:
- I had a stressful period in my life and I unwittingly cracked a tooth due to clenching my jaw in my sleep
- I stupidly didn't get it seen to straight away as it didn't bother me too much
- I developed more pain in it so I had to (privately at my NHS dentists recommendation) have a rct, this cost about £700 as I live in London
- I couldn't get the crown done immediately as I found out I was pregnant and I had to wait until the 2nd trimester
- I got continuing discomfort and my NHS dentist put a temporary crown on and it felt better but not perfect, he said to wait until after the birth to see if the discomfort continues or not before putting a permanent crown on
-since the birth an abcess developed, I returned to my dentist and he had the private endodontists have a look......he x-rayed it, said the crack had increased and that he'd recommend an extraction. He did say that it was possible to try and further fill one root to save the tooth but that this had a 40 to 50% chance of working.

I guess I'm just so gutted and I can't believe that it looks as though I'll lose a tooth :(

Do you think its worth getting an opinion elsewhere?
Maybe its worth having a go at filling the root again as there's still a chance?

Any advice is very much welcome


  • Fill it! You can replace money, but your tooth is a... tooth! It's replacable, but not in the same sense! I would go for the filling... :P
  • amcg100amcg100 Forumite
    272 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I had a similar problem about 15 years ago. A dentist had wanted to extract and build a bridge, but I refused. I went without a dentist for about 5 years since I no longer trusted them and when my crown came out ( there was a cracked root ) I stuck it back in myself with toothy peg. When I eventually found another dentist, because of pain in another tooth, My new dentist said exactly as yours said - about 50/50 chance of repairing the cracked root. That was 10 years ago and the work was successful and I still have my tooth. I have been using this dentist since then and have hardly ever needed more work done.

    So - I would say go for it, - apart from the cost it's a shot to nothing. If things don't work out you can still have dental implants.

    good luck
    If a man does not keep pace with his companions, then perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away. thoreau
  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
    14.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Root fill at first,crown if needed

    Only have teeth removed that can not be saved or you can't afford to save
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
    9.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    To make any sort of recommendation, I'd need to see it.

    When a dentist (or anyone medical) gives you a success rate, or chances of success, its just probability they're talking about. Not a definite.

    So, just because one person was told a chance of 50/50 and it worked, doesn't mean that it will work for you. In effect you'll be playing 'heads or tails' for £ 700 (or however much this next fee is).

    Indeed, you ideally should try to save a tooth if it's possible, but it's not the end of the world if one NEEDS to go.

    Be guided by the dentists who have actually seen it.

    Also - I'm not sure why being pregnant had any bearing on this treatment. There are a few things that should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, but for a cracked molar, I would have said that getting it sorted speedily would take priority over the tiny, theoretical risks that might have existed.

    Obviously though, I don't know the full circumstances.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • clairebclaireb Forumite
    142 Posts
    Thanks for your replies.

    Toothsmith, I know its not the end of the world - all things in perspective but from what I can gather dental implants are very expensive and have their drawbacks.

    I asked to speak to my dentist today to discuss it but he didn't get back to me - probably too busy. He's a nice guy but I feel like the decision is being rushed without weighing things up properly.

    Toothsmith - if I get it extracted is there anyway to improve the cosmetic appearance until 3months later when I'd be able to have an implant?

  • brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    A Maryland bridge which is stuck onto the teeth either side might be suitable or a denture. Both will add to the cost. A straight forward implant will cost around £2000 but not everyone or every tooth is suitable. E.g. if your tooth broke because you grind or clench your teeth an implant might be not suitable as implants fail or break at a greater rate in people who clench or grind.

    Your dentist is unlikely to be able to discuss this with you over the phone as nhs dentists are very very busy and to be honest don't have that much time to chat during an appointment.However the endodontist is the one who will have the best idea of the long term view for the tooth and as they have seen and x rayed it recently phoning their practice to clarify the situation may be better.
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