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Have we been scammed for a Root Canal?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
6 replies 1.8K views
scorpyonscorpyon Forumite
3 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hi all.
First time posting in here, so hope this is ok to ask.

My wife recently had to have a root canal treatment and we opted for private dentistry as we wanted to make sure it was done with quality materials etc.
The dentist did the root canal, and charged us £300 for it (plus about £100 in other costs). He then told my wife that he couldn't find the second root, so he was going to put a temporary filling in (which we paid for too) and then she was going to have to come back for a second root canal treatment in a month.

So she's just been back again today, and the dentist went and charged us a SECOND payment of £300 for another root cana.l when it should have only been charged the once because he couldn't do it right the first time.

On top of this, he added on yet another £70 or so for "tools" and "x-rays".
I'm feeling really angry about this, because what should have been a simple procedure costing around £300 or so has ended up costing nearly a grand!

So my question is: have we been diddled by this guy? What kind of dentist can't even find a root in a root canal surgery?

Apologies if this comes across badly - I'm really upset and frustrated as we are in the process of buying a house at the same time, so money is already very tight and this has hurt us a lot (in the wallet as well as my wife's jaw!).

Thanks for any advice!


  • edited 22 August 2019 at 2:03PM
    brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
    4.6K posts
    edited 22 August 2019 at 2:03PM
    Root canals can have very complex anatomy , the spaces can be very complex,curved and are only a fraction of a millimetre wide. All of this is done blind and even finding the entrance of a root canal , even with a clinical microscope can be very very tricky . molars are even more complex with up to five canals to find.

    However if you were given a written quote at the beginning of treatment you should not have been charged for a second visit. Root canal treatments quite often take two visits.

    I would write to the surgery querying why you have been charged twice , if you were quoted for the overall treatment in the beginning . It may just have been a clerical error.
  • edited 22 August 2019 at 2:42PM
    scorpyonscorpyon Forumite
    3 posts
    edited 22 August 2019 at 2:42PM
    Ok, thanks for the reply! :-)
    I'll write to them then and ask why the second charge.
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
    9.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I'd agree with Brook. Sounds like something isn't right with the charging.

    The inside of a bad tooth is a very difficult place to work though!
    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.
  • welshdentwelshdent Forumite
    1.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Mostly all I do is root fillings now and I can assure you OP that root canal treatment is VERY complex even with high magnification. General dentists have a good grounding in it but you can not be an expert at everything. Why isnt a GP good at knee replacements?
  • Thank you for the replies and advice.
    And also, my apologies if my comment about finding the root in a root canal came across unfairly / strong. I was upset about the costs and the seemingly vague reasonings we were being given by the receptionist on the phone etc and this led to frustration with the process and charges, etc.
    I can appreciate that it is probably a very complex and difficult procedure and also that not all dentists may specialise in this area.

    Thanks again!
  • edited 29 August 2019 at 10:23AM
    worried123worried123 Forumite
    442 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 29 August 2019 at 10:23AM
    Hi, just browsing. Could i give my input as a private patient. Whenever i have anything done I get a written price list of everything. If it said £300 for a root canal, that is it, all i pay. It may be itemised with some extras like xrays. £300 is okay for a root canal...esp for a molar. However, if i was in your wifes situation I know for sure it would cost the £300 no matter what problems were incurred or for any subsequent visits or treatment regarding it.

    Whenever i return with a possible problem with any treatment i have already paid for i never pay anything even if they have to do something to it.

    from a laymans, patients angle this is very wrong and you shouldnt have to pay for any further treatment. Good luck and stand your ground.

    I had a problem with a root canal once - one fo the roots had calcified...i was under a maxofcail surgeon that an ent consultant had referred me to after a scan for sinus pain showed that a cyst above the tooth had eroded the floor of my sinus...he kept an eye on it and did those huge xrays....however my private dentist treated the tooth and i went back many times with root canal whilst she did all she could with it...i only paid the initial cost of the root canal and this was a very complex case. 15 years later i have just finally lost the tooth..unfortunately but against all the odds my dentist kept it going for all those years...a missing tooth is a fortune to replace and i hope your wife gets it all sorted out soon.
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