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Thread: Root canal question

  1. #1

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    Default Root canal question

    Sorry if this is not in the right spot.

    DH had a dental checkup and they sadi he needed a root canal in one of his molars. The dentist tried to do it herself, but said it was too complicated for her and has referred him to an endodontist.

    He rang the receptionst there who quoted him $2000 as the standard price for whats usually required. We'd only get back about $500 from PHI.

    So he now wants to have the molar pulled out, which I'm a bit worried about (eating without one).

    I've advised him to see another dentist who did my parents and my brothers root canals for a second opinion, to see whether he can do it or whether he really needs a specialist.

    Is $2000 a normal ballpark figure, or should he ring a few different specialist to see whether there are differences in price?


  2. #2

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    Hi Rayray,

    I had root canal about a year ago on one of my molars and my regular dentist did it for me for about $300!!!!!

    I would absolutely get a 2nd opinion!!!!! There is no way it should cost that much unless he has some sort of special condition with that particular tooth...

  3. #3

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    Hi RayRay, I'm in the middle of having root canal work on one of my teeth (number 5 on the top right) and I also was referred to an endodontist as my reg dentist couldn't get into the canals as he said they were too small. The endo did all the work under a microscope and charged me $1500 and we got about $485 back. I still need to have the tooth crowned which apparently is approx another $1000 so I guess it is a fairly standard price.

  4. #4

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    rayray - i've been having root canal work on one of my teeth for 18 months now and have been forking money out left right and centre. sometimes there are parts of the tooth that a normal dentist cant access - the endodontist i've been seeing has done minor surgery on my mouth twice to try and clear up the infection - i've had my tooth cleaned and packed a heap of times, and should hopefully be able to have it filled for good in october! i had previously had the full root canal done by the dentist, which cost about $700, but i ended up having to have it all redone.

    from what i can gather, endodontists are trained in working with the tooth under the surface of the gum at the base of the tooth - and some of what they do can cost a fortune - definitely get a second opinion if you're concerned, but i'd say the price you've been quoted is pretty reasonable

    feel free to PM me if you want any more info

    BG

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys.
    I suppose I found it strange that they could give him a quote without needing to see him or sight his referral? Wouldn't it depend on what had to be done?

    Kris and BG, d'you think you could PM me the name of your endodontist/s? At least I can get a couple of additional quotes for him that way.


  6. #6

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    Rachel - having been in the dental game about 12 years now, if you have any questions fire away.
    An endodontist (root canal specialist) is trained in doing all the tough root canals, they arent easy to do, the hardest thing dentally to do, much easier to pull it out (from the dentist POV). They ae the only way to save the ooth though and if your dentist is referring him then you should thenk them coz otherwise they could have told him they did it and just waited for the infection etc to set in. Atleat this way he will get it looked at properly.
    On the dollar amount, it varys depending on how many nerve canals there are in the tooth, they can quote over the phone coa they would havea standard price for molars, incisors etc and a molar GENERALLY has 3 canals. I have myself had to get RCT done by an endo and it cost me $1500 which was mates rates!! Their equipment etc is very expensive unfortunately, its like the words preganacy and wedding, as soon as the word dental is used the price jumps up 100%!
    Please let me know if i can help out at all! If you have copis of xrays or anything i am happy to have a look if you can scan them etc.

  7. #7

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    Thanks Cindy.

    At the moment he is thinking about having the tooth pulled, because we don't have the moeny to pay for it (well I could put it on my credit card, but not the actual money).

    If he keeps having it cleaned out and temporary fillings (which is what they have done so far) I could do it in September when we get out child care rebate (something always comes up the gobble up extra $$). This would be my preferred option, having had thousands of $ orthodontic work meyelf, I'd rather he looked after the teeth he has rather than see having them pulled as the easier option, but he just sees it as a waste of money and wants it out.

  8. #8

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    Even with the specialist you are probably looking at a few appts with atleat 3 weeks between them wchich you could pay if off over. The tooth will be fine though if he keeps having it cleaned out and temp filled for the mean time, it is heaps more expensive to have a tooth replaced than it is to hang onto them. I know from experience of my own! I ended up having to have a tooth out, having said that though there is no guarantee that if the tooth has the RCT done that it wont end up needing to come out down the track. My tooth was RCT'd and had a crown on it and everything and after about 3 years of doing all of this i had to have it out but mine was cracked and they were never going to be able to clean it out properly!
    He would definately have to have a cornw put on it about 6-12 months after the treatment which will be atleast another $1000. But in saying that there probaly isnt much point in doing the RCT if you arent planning to crown it. Root treated teeth are like dead trees they are brittle from having no blood flow to them etc. The only thing holding them in is the ligaments that attach it to the jaw bone.
    I personally think it is worth it though, there is nothing like your own tooth to replace it and you definately notice it when its gone!

    God get me talking dental and i go off!! Sorry for the rambling

  9. #9

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    Thanks Cindy.
    I get paid monthly so that would definielty be a workable solution.
    I have sent all this info to DH, he is still not sure and when he works out he still needs a crown he will flip out! lol
    I'm with you though, I would rather know we've done everything to save it.
    Would they be able to give him an estimate on how likely it is that they can save it when he goes to his initial consultation?
    OH, he doesn't have his xrays either.

    More ammunition for me to take up tupperware!

  10. #10

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    I had a tooth pulled earlier this year - top row, next to the rear one, is that a molar ? I can eat fine without it and you can;t see a gap when I smile.

    About 20 years ago I had the same tooth on the other side at the top pulled and there is almost no gap on that side.

    Nick's dentist lets him pay things off when he gets work done.

    Barb.

  11. #11

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    Barb - Yep its a molar! the fact that you are saying you no longer have the gap form the first tooth removed is exactly why we need to keep them all in our head. Our teeth are constantly moving (very slowly) and when there is one missing the others try to fill in the gap, the thing is that if you end up with a tooth with nothing for it to hit against it will actually keep moving up untill it falls out itself, no help from a dentist. Yes this takes years and years but i have seen it many times and i have seen the differenc in my own mouth since having my tooth out last year.
    I have also managed to suck a patients tooth out with the suction by accident before! Very scary!

  12. #12

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    Rayray - if your DH decides to get the tooth pulled, I can recommend a brilliant surgeon (if he doesn't want it done in the chair). From memory it cost me $300 with NO rebate to get a very difficult broken tooth pulled (don't ask ) and the guy has rooms at both hawthorn and in the city (near Parliament station). I have had a molar pulled (two actually, top right and bottom left) and can eat fine. I have an overcrowded mouth so it did my teeth alignment good to get them pulled anyway.
    Let me know if you want the guy's details.

    MG

  13. #13

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    OK MG thanks.
    He's still undecided. I wan t him to at least have the initial consult and get an idea of what they thikn the chances are of saving it.

  14. #14

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    I haven't read everyone's responses but I would think that $2K would have to include the crown cost as well. I've had one done and it cost me around $600 from memory and the crown was going to cost me $1K. I, probably stupidly, didn't get the crown as I didn't want to pay the 1K it was going to cost me. I went with my mother's advice which was not to get one. She'd had a couple done and never had a crown for them until 20yrs down the track as they had lasted as is the whole time. They 'pack' (think it's called that) so well that it is supposed to last you for some time if they do a good job. HOWEVER, I have had a bit of discomfort from it in the past 2yrs & put it down to not having the crown. I have had it checked by a dentist and it isn't cracked or infected etc....so haven't got it done yet, but think I will quite soon.

  15. #15

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    i had a root canal finished about 6 months ago. My dentist did it over 3 visits and over a year so I could pay as I went. All up I was out of pocket around $800. he was great and I had a 4 root, root canal if that makes sense. It isn't for the faint hearted so if he has issues with discomfort and needles, then he will need to work himself up.
    HTH and tell your hubby good luck
    BTW mine was a molar as well. and now my tooth is great!!!!

  16. #16

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    My dentist said I needed a root canal on a tooth i'd had trouble with in the past and i said no way not a chance just pull it out, so they did.
    I haven't had a problem since as my mouth has always been a bit crowded, and being a back tooth you can't see it at all and the gap has closed in a bit anyway. I have no trouble eating at all.

    At the time a root canal wasn't an option for a single mum living on her own in Melb with no income cause I was studying, but having said that i can't see it as something i would have wanted to go through anyway!!

    Good luck with your hubby though

  17. #17

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    if a normal dentist does it it costs a lot less than an endodontist.
    From memory the $2k doesn't include the crown, I've checked all the item numbers out, but I could be wrong

  18. #18

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    $2000 definately wont cover the crown that will be about another $1000 on top. It is definately less expensive ifa general dentist does it but there is a reason he was referred (they dont ususlly refer for no reason) so that would indicate that itns not just straight forward.
    If he wants to travel, my old boss in Wantirna would gladly have a look, he is really good at RCT and has lots of special equipment in his rooms that the endodontists use. He is really a very good dentist i was still having him as my dentist when i was on the gold coast, used to organise my appts for when i was down for a few days etc even though i was working in dental surgeries up there.
    Let me know if you want his number, he isnt cheap but he would be cheaper than a specialist. See if you can find out exactly why he we being referred, there are lots of reasons it could be but some are less scary than others and may be able to be treated by a general dentist that likes doing RCT>

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