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A second medical opinion should be the first decision!

Updated on April 9, 2013
A second opinion, from someone else!
A second opinion, from someone else!

Wish I would've known

One year before I met my husband, I must've spent over $7 thousand on my mouth. I had excellent dental insurance, and visited a dentist near my office. My dentist recommended a few root canals and crowns along with some other treatments. I went in for my scheduled appointments and had everything done. I was satisifed with his work, I must've referred him 7 patients from the company i worked for.

After marrying my husband, he decided to clean my teeth and do a complete examination, x-rays and all. His jaw dropped when he saw that I had 3 root canals in row, he asked me why I have so many root canals, my reply was "I don't know, the dentist said I needed them". What i found to be satisfactory in the crowns I got, he found to be unacceptable due to bad margins, "you know, that grey line you see at the edge!".

Having worked with my husband for 4 years now, dealing with patients on a regular basis and listening to the horror stories they've had to deal with. It's quite unfortunate that we look at someone like a dentist or a medical doctor as if they have the answer to everything, and you have to wonder sometimes what the intentions are behind their decisions.

Double and triple check a diagnosis

First, do your homework and know what defines a good dentist, you see, I had 3 root canals done in teeth that never gave me any trouble, no pain or anything, I decided to call the office I visited years ago and ask why I had these root canals done. I kind of already knew but I wanted to hear it from them. I was told that because we were doing crowns on all 3 teeth and as preventative measure to not feel pain from all the drilling, the doctor feels it's safer to do a root canal. What?, wait a minute, I really didn't need to those root canals, but they were done because they might have needed to be done after the crowns, so just to be safe, we'll do them first! wow.

Now, that I've worked in a dental office and know that it's very important for anyone to keep their god given nerve and natural teeth, I'm quite angry at my original dentist, and even more at my self for trusting and not asking for a second opinion. This lesson I learned has saved me from a bigger surgery I recently was told I needed and i got 3 second opinions and saved myself from getting a surgery I didn't need. It's a whole article in itself. Please, please, get a second opinion. It doesn't matter who the authority figure is. If they are good at what they do, the second opinion will confirm what they recommend and you can always go back to them.


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    • Pascale1973 profile image

      Pascale Skaf Saliba 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Unfortunately, no dentist can predict how your tooth will react to any procedure, myself and a few reputable dentists I know are against the idea of doing a root canal just because you need a crown, having said that I would prefer to do the crown and take my chances, a root canal can be done through the crown so you don't have to have it replaced and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Obviously it is never the intention of any dentist to cause a patient pain, that's their worst nightmare, but a good dentist will do a root canal only if necessay, when a nerve is no longer vital not just so you don't feel sensitivity. The tooth does sometimes get traumatized from all the drilling and such but if uou give it time and not eat on that side for a while, you might have success. If it only hurts when you bite down on it, the bite is too high and he needs to adjust the bite on the crown. I since those days have had 3 crowns with no root canals. Root canals have a long history of failure and future absess if not done properly, I just know that if needed, fine, but to do them just because you might need it is crap, they can always give the tooth a chance and do it through the crown if necessary.

    • profile image

      buddyleeoo 5 years ago

      I can see why you might be upset the dentist pushed straight on through to rootcanals, but here's my situation:

      Recently, I have worked through enough debt so I can be able to afford some long-procrastinated inspection of my teeth. In the same situation, I went in with practically no pain, just to get an idea of what needs to be performed, and for how much. The dentist came up with a list of two crowns, and some fillings, adding up to an acceptable bill for me.

      Part of the way through the crown procedure, he seems really adament about root canals instead. He says, "even with crowns, it won't be long until pain shows up in these teeth." I'm unsure about what to say, because I don't think I could afford moving on to two root canals, when one of them cost me over $2000 a couple years before. So, he tells me he'll finish up the crown procedure, and push on. Apparantly, I'm now taking my chances. Not even three days later, I suddenly cannot run cold liquid along the left side of my mouth, because it shocks the tooth so bad. Surprisingly, it wasn't even the one he was worried about.

      Now I'm stuck. I feel like I have to live with this pain until I can buy the root canal procedure. After reading some articles online, some dentists just outright admit crown procedures can cause nerve damage/swelling. Now it feels like I have a million questions for them when I go in tomorrow for fillings: can I get refunded the crown procedure if I get a root canal instead? Will this be a cheaper root canal (the price varies widely)? Is it just my teeth in shock after the hygienist procedure? Are those going to be filled?

      If he had simply diagnosed me with root canals the first time, I would've had time to go find the money, pain-free.

    • Pascale1973 profile image

      Pascale Skaf Saliba 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm so glad I follow my own advice for sure

    • musclequest profile image

      musclequest 6 years ago from Johannesburg,South Africa

      Agreed...I have seen a few deaths lately from negligence and procedures that werent needed its a scary thought