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root canal treatment





FAQs -> root canal treatment

question (id # 2019)

I have a dilemma with a tooth which had root canal treatment four years ago, done privately (and expensive!). All has been fine so far, but on a routine x-ray with a new dentist, it shows there is infection on the tip of one of the roots/canals! I have no symptoms whatsoever. My dentist has said this can be treated by redoing the one canal and replacing the crown. (expensive!) But has also said it is a dormant infection that may have been there some time, and can be there for years without trouble, so if I prefer, I can just live with it, and keep it regularly checked for the time being. Is this wise or should I deal with the infection straight away?

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question (id # 1897)

My lower left pre-molar has broken so that now the back and part of the side are missing. I've been advised that I can should get root canal, a post put in (molar beside it is leaning into it) and a crown. Or could extract the tooth and get a bridge. Which would you advise? The treatment is on NHS but the dentist has suggested I get in-house endodontist to do the root canal work privately. Appreciate they have to up-sell but would you recommend going with the endodontist or is NHS option perfectly OK? Thanks

question (id # 1849)

I have had a biodentine put on a deep cavity, close to the root, a month a ago. It has chipped off at sides twice already that required fillings to seal the gaps. Should I consider taking biodentine out completely and having root canal treatment? thank you

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question (id # 1835)

If I have a root canal, is it better to crown the tooth to be safe or not ?. I am worried it will become more brittle , if I have a filling which to me may need doing again , not sure , what do I do ? Good crown or filling? Some talk of good direct cerec or proper post and core and then crown? Too much info on the internet .

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question (id # 1831)

I have got one of my tooth root canalled. That was four years ago. I had pain recently and the XRay revealed that there is an infection. I consulted a NHS dentist. He said I have to consult a 'root canal repairing' specialist and the charge would be approximately 350. He was not aware if I have to additionally pay for the crown. I followed the dentist's suggestion (I have no other option) and taken an appointment with the specialist next week.
However, I notice that NHS dentistry charges only for cosmetic surgery. My case does not come under cosmetic. So, why am I asked to pay outside the NHS bands? Is the dentist right that he is charging as a private treatment?

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question (id # 1812)

I had my top 2 front teeth crowned and also a bridge of 4 teeth fitted 25 years ago. I have had little trouble during this time. I recently experienced pain and following a X-ray my dentist has found that the bone in which my crown post is inserted is crumbling away. He says the options are, dental surgery where he lifts the gum, cleans and repairs and does root canal treatment. (its 50/50 whether this will work at all) or the removal of the teeth to be replaced with a denture. He can perform both of these options, but also said I could have implants elsewhere, but these will cost many thousands of pounds. I am 54 and I don't really want a denture. I am so confused. What do you think is the best option?

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question (id # 1791)

I have a molar which has died after toothache.Visited NHS dentist expecting root filling but told not neccessary as no longer in pain and no infection so tooth could just be left.Denied that risk of abscess if left untreated.Is this really right or is dentist just wanting to avoid carrying out root treatment.If so, would I be better trying another dentist?

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question (id # 1766)


I am an NHS patient with a crown (upper right 7 I think, with no tooth behind it).

Last week the crown broke so I went to my dentist who told me that as the rim is left he can rebuild the crown.

Last year I had an abscess above this tooth, which was due to be extracted by the dental hospital, but by the time I got an appointment, the abscess had cleared and the pain had gone.

At the time I was told it was due to a failed root canal treatment and was given the option to see a specialist at a cost of 600+ to redo the treatment. When the abscess cleared I was told the infection would be laying dormant and was likely to come back in future.

This time, with the broken crown, I have mentioned how I get headaches on the same side as the tooth (not sure if they are linked) and my dentist mentioned seeing the specialist to get the root canal treatment done before the crown is rebuilt.

Part of me just wants the tooth pulled out!

I'm wondering if the root canal treatment is something that can be done under the NHS in my circumstances, even if it means a referral to endodontist or the dental hospital?

I've also been getting what I can only describe as a 'squelchy' jaw on the same side as the crown from around the time the treatment was done and my jaw often clicks. This worries me, but my dentist thought it was unlikely it would be related and dismissed my concern.

Any helps and thoughts would be greatly appreciated please.

Many thanks,


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question (id # 1764)

Hi, Please see copies of my x-rays.
I have an infection under my lower right 6 tooth, which had an abcess 5/6 years ago and was subsequently given root canal treatment at the time on NHS. At some point I have cracked the tooth. But have had no pain from this since.

I also have an infection under my lower left 7 tooth now, which a few months ago was given a deep filling, close to the nerve. This was done privately. I also have no pain from this tooth.

I am 26, and do not have a lot of money. Do not wish to have them extracted and I would want white caps if I were to go for root canal and re-root canal treatment.

Is re-root canal treatment a viable option, or should I consider an alternative such as an implant?
I am not clear on if an implant would be available to me on NHS or not? Or what cost?

Difficult to decide what action to take.As am thinking about not only 800-1200 for the initial rct's and crowns but also future costs if RCT's are not successful.

I read that some dentists will not put a cap on an RCT until a couple of months after, is that worthwhile if the patient can be careful what they eat and it saves paying out for a further crown if the infection does comes back?

Roughly how much would a specialist charge for a re-root canal and a white crown? 1200?

Sorry for so many questions!

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question (id # 1763)

I have had problems with front tooth for 30 years. An initial root canal was not performed properly and I have had it redone and subsequent root surgery twice by expert endodontist and more recently successful peridontal pocket treatment. However the tooth is now causing problems again. It is throbbing and sensitive plus pain is spreading above gum line to roof of mouth. My dentist took x-ray two weeks ago and everything looked fine but this most recent flare up happened after a bit into something a bit hard a few days ago. Would extraction be the best course now?? -- I don't want to deal with another abcess. Perhaps the tooth has become cracked?? Also the tooth beside it seems to be acting up

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question (id # 1751)

Hello, I saw a private dentist after a toothache; the decision was that I need a root canal on the 3rd tooth before the end on my upper jaw. I was given a quote of 575 for the root canal treatment + costs for the filling after the treatment. Does it sound right or it's too much?

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question (id # 1746)

I'm 26 and already have 11 rootcanals, 8 of them have had to be repeated, many fillings, 2 bridges and a never ending amount of work that's needed. Im at the dentist every 2 months or so. My biggest issue at the moment is that i have had an abscess in between tooth 21 and 22 for the 3rd time now. The root has been treated twice and when i went to see the dentist last week he did confirm that the root canal treatment looks good and cant not be improved if re done. He suggested another treatment which i was not familiar with. Apparently a specialist can open up the gum and treat the abscess and block the root from the gum end. Is this possible? I have also had 4 root canal treatments in the past 6 months (now 2 of the treated are infected again). Could it mean i am deficient in something, and/or my issues are just genetic, is there anyway to prevent these infections, i have very good dental hygiene and do look after my teeth as much as possible. But this seems to happen so often that i may as well work only to support my dental problems. Please help!!

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question (id # 1741)

Ok....long story ...here goes.
Had a bit of pain after giving birth on left side of mouth. Dentist did X-ray and said it was a previous root cannalled tooth which showed had only been half done by an nhs dentist about 5/6 years ago. He said I had two options have tooth extracted for free or pay 800 to have it treated by a specialist endodontist. Had been pain free for about 6 months but decided to get it it done as I didnt want to lose my tooth or it flare up again at an inconvenient time etc. so went and had the treatment. A day later ...excruciating pain. Went to nhs dentist who seemed to think pain was coming from tooth 6 the treated molar. After wrangling with the endodologist he offered me a ct scan and I did the 200 mile trip to sort out the pain. Ct scan showed that tooth 6 was ok and my pain was definitely coming from tooth 7 which had a hole underneath the filling. I asked if it needed root treatment to do it there and then because I didn't want to come back again. He announced after opening it up it defnately didnt need root treatment and he spent two hours dressing it and filling it. This ost me 400!!! didn't subside and a week later after many trips to nhs dentist....he has worked out that tooth 7 needs a root treatment. Yet again options have it out or go back to endo. Said I would only go ack to endo if they did it free of charge...he seem to think that wouldn't be an option. I have a maternity exemption card but have received total substandard care and I am very upset...what should I do. I don't want to go back to endo.

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question (id # 1718)

I took my 7 year old daughter for her 6 monthly check, everything had previously been ok but now she has a cavity that requires root cannal treatment on one of her milk tooth molars. She has never complained of any pain or discomfort. Does she really need this treatment now?

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question (id # 1710)

My crown has a hairline crack. I have no pain and there is no infection. My dentist said I have to re-do the crown WITH a root canal. Is this really necessary, or is my dentist trying to make more money.

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question (id # 1701)

Hi there

I had root canal after toothache on my bottom molar. It never settled properly, not painful as such, but sensitive and flares up on and of. More on than off to be fair. The dentist took another X-Ray and said there looked to still be some decay around the bottom of one the roots, the one he had to open at the bottom to clean it. So it seems he wasn't able to remove all the decay with his instruments.

I was referred to the dental hospital and basically told it was not guaranteed that further root canal treatment would work or was worth it and is difficult after one had already been done. It was suggested the tooth be extracted, but no bridge is possible as the teeth each side also have fillings in. If its removed the gap will be noticeable when I smile or open my mouth and make me too self conscious. Is it worth seeing an specialist and is it possible to have this done again but with more specialised instruments to get the the area around the root bottom.

Also, can I have a consultation at least to be advised of the best options without treatment and how much generally for that. I believe treatment will be around the 600 mark. for further root canal work bu to me it's worth it than loosing a tooth.

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question (id # 1691)

I have recently had root canal on my front tooth went back today to get it filled the debtist filled the tooth took an x-ray but had not filled it to the end of the root. so they started again to fill it took another x-ray got a bit further along the root but still not to the end. So they say i have to come back for another appointment to try and fill the rest of the root but if they cant would refer me to a private dentist costing 700. So my question is, is this normal? and what are my options if dont want to pay 700?

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question (id # 1680)

I have had root canal on nhs but it has failed.
I asked the hygienist if I could see x-ray and she immeditely saw the problem. The tooth curves at the bottom and he could not reach this part with instrument.
my question is- surely he could see from the x-ray and tell me to go private where they have better instruments. I now have to do this but am cross that I was not given this information. I would not have had this done with him and waisted a lot of time and maybe damage too. I had an absess and it has eaten into bone.

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question (id # 1674)

I had 5 root canal treatment done about 6-7 years ago by 2 different dentist, one NHS and one private. All 5 teeth were infected at different time and hence the root canal treatment. Only one have a crown, the rest are the original teeth with filling. But since then, I always have some pain sensation on 2 teeth not very shap, more like a dull pain and it comes and goes. The teeth are not cold and hot sensitive either. And there's no pattern in when the pain starts and ends. Is there something wrong with the teeth? Would I need a 2nd RCT? I DO have my teeth checked every 6 months, there seems no problem found with every visit. Please help!

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question (id # 1668)

In 1999, just after I finished University, I had NHS root canal treatment in a canine tooth at a dentists near Leeds. The dentist did not inform me of any of the risks of this procedure. Following the procedure my tooth died and went black. What came to light during an x-ray check-up in February was that the dentist had broken the bit of the drill in the tooth and not told me about it. but what I only discovered in February. Now my dentist (in Loughborough where I now live) has told me that it is infected due to the presence of the drill bit and the infection has spread to the bone. I have been told that I have to have private secondary root canal treatment which he says I can't get on the NHS. This will cost me 69 for an assessment and then a minimum of 540 pounds if they can do it simply, otherwise it will be much more than this.
I don't have this kind of money, and it seems very unfair that I have to pay for this, is there anything I can do get compensation to pay for this corrective work from the original work? Thanks very much for your help.

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question (id # 1654)

I went to see my dentist a few weeks ago because of some discomfort I was having. He said he wasn't surprised as I had a large abscess, took an X-ray and gave me a prescription. I went back to see him a couple of weeks later and he said the root(s) of the tooth were infected, and I had three options:
1. Have root canal treatment, which might or might not solve the problem;
2. Have the tooth extracted;
3. Leave it, and monitor the infection.
I've always been satisfied with my dentist, but do feel at times that he hurries through his patients, perhaps because he mainly deals with NHS. It worries me as he seemed to be suggesting I should just leave it unless it gets worse. I thought that root infection needed to be treated quickly? Any advice would be appreciated.

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question (id # 1652)

My 18 yr old daughter who is a A level student had dental pain and went to an NHS dentist (signed the forms etc) She was told that her old root canal filling had not been done properly and there was an infection when she went back a week later after completing anti-biotic provided she was told it would cost 400 for a re-root as the NHS would only do extraction is this right I can't afford to pay but I don't want my daughter to lose her tooth and cause self-conscious problems

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question (id # 1634)

I had root canal treatment last year on one of my back teeth with a cap, the cause was a hairline crack in my tooth which in turn caused pain when I ate and drank. The treatment has been a complete success. My question is how much should this treatment have cost me on the NHS. I paid 204, but on reading information (and following a statement on the news this morning) I feel that I may have paid too much. If this is the case, how do I get my money back without ruining the relationship I have with my dentist?

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question (id # 1633)

After initially needing a filling for a small cavity, I had to go back to my dentist three further times in the next 2 months; to get it refilled due to it being too high, extreme sensitivity, and a fracture on the front face of the tooth. I've now been told I need root canal due to an infection under said filling, which I am being referred from my NHS dentist to a private practice who have quoted me 695! I believe this is not my fault and that bar the need for the initial filling, all subsequent treatments have been required due to the dentists error.
My question is how can they expect me to pay this private fee when my NHS dentist has caused the problem. Is there any one I can complain to about the situation, and why am I not able to have the treatment on the NHS at a much reduced cost?? Thanks in advance

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question (id # 1617)

My root canal treatment is completed and crown is fixed. Please tell me what all care I have to take from now to prevent possible decaya under the crown.
I also heard that it is better to use flouride gel every night. Can u suggest the product name that need to be used.

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question (id # 1608)

I had my root canal treatment first sitting today (Friday) in this sitting endodontist removed pulp and filled temporarily. He asked me to come for next sitting on Tuesday. Please suggest me what I have to take as food for these 4 days? Please keep in mind that I need some energitic food because I feel easily exhausted and like to have more food always

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question (id # 1603)

My daughter aged 14 has always experienced problems with her teeth. Thursday she was in agony with toothache in her top right tooth where she had previously had a very deap filling in. By thursday night her whole right side of her face had swollen,as its easter we could only see an emergency doctor on friday. Friday at the dentist she was told she had an asbcese,they done the first part of root canal and filled it with a temporary filling,she was sent away with ibrufen and with the reassurance of the swelling would be gone in 24 hours. It's now monday and the swelling is still there,she has no pain in the tooth but pain in the lip and gum above it. She's refusing to leave the house because of how she looks and I don't want her spending her whole holiday inside. Is this normal?will the swelling eventually go down?should I ring the dentist?help help help!! Sophie x

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question (id # 1591)

why is it, nearly every tooth I've had root canal treatment on ends up infected?? I had a filling fall out on Monday 19th March (the majority of my tooth on this one had collapsed last year) so I was left with a gaping hole. Didn't have tooth ache or anything but I was just scared the whole tooth would break with having no filling. I went to my NHS dentist on Wednesday 21st March who cleaned out the tooth with a drill and refilled it. Later that day/night, I started to get toothache. When I went to work the next day the tooth and surrounding teeth felt sore and very sensitive if my teeth closed together. I went back to my NHS dentist who said I'd got an infection and prescribed me amoxycillin. The night of Thursday 22nd March I was in horrendous pain with it and didn't get any sleep. Woke Friday 23rd March morning and my face was swollen and my entire mouth hurt. I went back to my NHS dentist again that morning and she removed the filling I'd had done on Wednesday saying it should calm down now and to keep on taking the anti-biotics and to see her later in the week for a possible full extraction. It's now Saturday 24th March 2012 and I'm in absolute agony! My face is swollen and it hurts to move or walk about the house. Feels like a heart beat is in my whole upper jaw. Why can the tooth not be extracted when there is an infection? Why do I have to wait a week and a course of anti-biotics? The pain is horrendous and I've lost count of how many pain killers I've taken!

question (id # 1546)

I have a very good dentist and have no reason to complain. However, I have a very old Crown on one of my 2 big front teeth (central incisor?), from 30 years ago. When I had an abscess back then, my dentist told me that I should have had a root canal filling, as my current crown is only being held by a bonding agent, and the crown post isn't held within a 'filled' area which means it could come out at any time (it did come out a few years ago and he re-stuck the tooth). He said that this is quite a specialist job and he recommends one particular specialist, but the cost is approximately 1500. Does this sound right, as most other people I've spoken to say it should cost between 200-500?

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question (id # 1543)

Hi there,

After a few visits to my NHS dentist and some testing, he has found that I need a root canal treatment on one of my teeth.

The bottom front tooth (the one on the right, at the very front of the set of bottom teeth).

He has given me two options; NHS and Private.

After discussing with him the differences between the two, he has told me, with Private treatment:

1. The 'files' used to get through the canal are different and more intricate. With different sized files. Where as with the NHS it's all one size.
2. The material used to fill the canal afterwards is different as well.

What I'd like to know is:

1. As this tooth is quite small with a single canal right at the front of my teeth. Does this mean that the difference between doing it Privately or through the NHS would be very little? Considering the price difference is quite large (either 250 or 75)?

Thanks for your help!

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question (id # 1522)

I've recently had an inlay in the middle of a back upper molar (accounting for about a third of the tooth). Initial pain and sensitivity following inlay fitting has subsided a little with bite adjustment but I am still unable to chew other than really gently without pain. My dentist advises root canal, saying that in drilling out the decay and fitting the inlay the nerves have become irreversibly inflamed as the inlay is now very close to the nerves. He has not mentioned any 'infection'. Should I be rushing into root canal or is there a chance it will resolve itself with time?

He recommends that following root canal a new inlay be fitted. What I've read about root canal so far suggests that its almost always advisable to use a crown to prevent fracture. So I'm a little confused as to why I'm being advised to have an inlay. Advice please!

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question (id # 1516)

My dentist has advised me that I need a root filling and crown to a lower left back tooth. The tooth in question has a large temporary filling which accounts for 80% of visible "tooth", the remaining 20% is actual tooth material.
My question is firstly why does my dentist suggest he does this privately when it is available as part of the NHS contract? and secondly why does he tell me that only silver crowns are available on the NHS when it appears from the NHS website (band 3) that "crown in porcelain, synthetic resin and other non-metallic crowns" are available?
I realise that the 204 maximum charge won't pay for a huge amount of the dentists time but I'm led to believe that the NHS dentist would recieve more than 204 from the NHS for the work done.

question (id # 1483)

I had a tooth (2nd going back after lower right canine) root treated and crowned several years ago. This has now apparently failed according to two dentists and the area on the outside of the tooth is now infected.

The 1st dentist offered a choice of extraction, 600 specialist re-root treatment or a "recommended" procedure involving drilling through the bone to clean out the infection. This latter option I was told carried a very small risk of nerve damage though. I was asked to make the decision on the spot but decided I would like to try a further course of antibiotics-to buy some time as much as in hope.

I then saw a different dentist who said the only option was extraction as it was too infected. This would then be followed by a bridge. No mention was made of a specialist to re-treat it and I was told that no good dentist would recommend the previously recommended procedure as it was too dangerous due to the proximity of the nerve.

My symptoms include pus draining from the side of the tooth when the slight swellings are pressed (which relieves the pain). The swellings seem to appear when I eat but sometimes go down a short time later. I have unfortunately loosened the crown myself as I discovered accidentally that moving it seemed to help.

I do not want to lose the tooth if I can help it but cost is obviously a factor so my question is really about my options. I also don't really like the idea of further bridge work on two unrelated teeth if not necessary-especially if there is a possibility this might then fail also and leave me with three missing teeth.

Also why there is such dramatic differences of opinion - I thought dental treatment was about facts mainly? I am quite concerned that it might be impossible to get an objective opinion.

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question (id # 1477)

Yesterday I had a lower first molar extracted which had been root canal filled one and a half years ago. It had caused me intermittent pain and I had felt unwell in a vague way since the day it was placed. No abcess ever formed, but often the gum was red, slightly swollen with a bit of recession. In between the molar and pre-molar also hurt and looked mildly inflammed.

Over the last few months I have felt so exhausted that I had to stop working and take to my bed.

I had several x-rays over the last year of the tooth including a panoramic one. Non of these showed anything obviously wrong. Every dentist said it looked like a very well done root canal.

Recent blood tests showed that I have some serious challenge to my immune system going on. My doctor says I am fighting off an infection somewhere. I decided to have the tooth removed as the most obvious cause of my problems.

The tooth came out easily and the surgeon says the bone all looked nice and healthy.

I asked to keep the tooth. When I recovered from the sedation I examined it and found a piece of bendy black wire sticking out of a hole in the root about 4 millimetres from the tip. The wire is about 2 mm long. There is also another piece of identical black bendy wire inside the same root. I am mystified as to what this might be and why it didn't show up on an x-ray.

Does anybody know what this wire might be and why it is there? Also does anybody know what it might be made of? I have a fairly severe nickel allergy. Could the wire contain nickel. I only have to put cutlery to my lip that has a trace of nickel in it for a swelling to develop.

After the tooth was extracted I thought I'd feel really terrible. Instead I feel fantastic. I seem to have got my energy back. Although I have mild aching in the extraction site, the horrible pain in the jawbone has stopped. It is early days yet and I might just be feeling happier as I've finally got rid of the tooth that has been bothering me for so long. I am due for another blood test in 4 weeks. It will be interesting to see if my white cell count has improved with the tooth extraction. Fingers crossed. Losing that tooth is a big loss but worth it if I can get my health back.

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question (id # 1379)

Hello, about 5 years ago, I was diagnosed at King's walk in clinic with cracked molars and was told I needed composite fillings which the NHS would not fund. When I say cracked teeth, I mean they are cracked right down to the base of the root. I have since had two composite fillings privately. The second one broke/cracked within the first week. Can I ask where I stand with regards cracked teeth requiring composite fillings and the NHS? I've gone for 4 years without treatment of the filling that cracked/leaked, because I cannot afford the exhorbitant private fees. I would be most grateful for any clarification. I am desperate to get my teeth fixed as I've not been eating well for years as the foods I really like (fresh fruits, raw vegetables, salads) I'm unable to eat as they cause pain even at room temperature. I don't experience pain when eating cooked foods (which I don't really like) or non-fluidy foods. I think it's the fluid content in the raw fruit and vegetables that's causing the pain. I am also convinced that the chronic 'infection' in the tooth in question has caused my weight loss. I am now clinically underweight. It's also extremely embarrassing because there is a bad smell that is gettinig progressively worse which I am convinced is caused by the broken/leaky composite filling. On the other side of the mouth, I'm unable to chew because the pressure of biting down causes pain rather than temperature. I think these teeth are also cracked.

I hope what I've written gives a clear picture and would be extremely grateful for your input.

Many thanks.

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question (id # 1338)

I have a root filled tooth that has darkened over the past 15 years. My dentist has taken moulds for a veneer to be prepared which has now been fitted today. Perhaps my expectations were too great, however it seems quite rounded and more raised than my teeth, and the colour seems dull compared to real teeth. It is acrylic which my dentist says was the technicians choice of material for my tooth. I would apprecitate any comments on this process from other profesionals. Many thanks

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question (id # 1225)

I had a root canal treatment on the NHS and it has failed. I am not sure whether to go to a specialist or not .What chances of success are there? It's the third tooth from the back ,I am not sure I want to have it pulled out , I already have a gap next to it, so I am not sure what will happen next.


 Please advise me , it was also a painful treatment,



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The following questions were not orginally posted in this category, but may be related:

question (id # 1384)

I have a 25yr old gold capped tooth which has since been root filled 10yrsago but the margins are bad & look as if the tooth is decaying underneath. It may need extracting , I am very anxious as I know it may break and be hard to get out. Help!

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question (id # 1399)

I broke a tooth with a large filling 2 weeks ago. On Friday my dentist 'prepared' the tooth for a crown and said that the root was not exposed, so did not need root canal treatment. As soon as the anaesthetic began to wear off I was experiencing 'electric shocks' that were severe and lasted for some seconds. (very miserable) in the last 2 days, (with an awful lot of Panadol and Nurofen) they are subsiding a little - they're not as severe, not as long, but still there!!! Should they be? I know that I have 'sensitive teeth' in so far as they often take a while to settle - but how long do I put up with this pain? I have very bad experience of root canal (leading to extraction in both previous cases) - I am extremely ashamed of my mouth - only 37 with 2 bridges and very, very ugly fillings - but please, I want to be out of pain and able to eat? How long?

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question (id # 1376)

I had a large white filling replaced with another large white filling on a lower molar 5 weeks ago.

At the time the dentist had warned me the filling was close to the nerve and it may die but as he completed the treatment was confident it would be ok.

The tooth has remained sensitive and achey (although not to hot and cold). I have returned and had the filling filed down twice but no improvement.

My dentist now wants to refer me for root canal treatment and a crown at a cost of 1100.

Is there any chance the nerve is simply irritated and will settle if left longer?

Could the pain be caused by the tooth pressing on the tooth in front - the side of which he filled?

Could it wait 3 months if I join HSA?

No x rays have been taken.

I have a free NHS certificate as I have just had a baby but this seems worthless.

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question (id # 1368)

I have been advised by my NHS Dentist that I require root canal treatment. I have the option of having it carried out on the NHS or privately. The cost my NHS Dentist quoted to me for private treatment is £700 for the root canal treatment and £400 for a white crown. I think this is quite expensive compared to estimates I have seen here and on other websites. Do I have to accept the private dentist that my NHS Dentist refers me to? Or if I am able to choose my own, if so will this affect my relationship with my NHS Dentist (i.e. ongoing treatment)?

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question (id # 1337)

I am a 30 year old female. Two months ago, I had a new crown fitted on my front tooth. I broke this as a child and due to an abcess had to have root canal treatment which also left me with a very dark gum.

My last porcelain crown had developed an unsightly black line below the gum over the years and therefore I decided to have it replaced.

I am an NHS patient but paid £500 for my dentist to replace the crown privately. Unfortunately, the new crown, although an improvement on the previous one, still has a black line which I immediately pointed out. My dentist referred me to see her collegue who is more experienced for a second opinion and I saw him today.

He said that I have been fitted with a ceramic crown with a metal base. He feels the problem could be either the metal base of the crown is visible or the dark root is showing through. Apparently, I have thin gums.

I have been told I can either have a new porcelain crown fitted, have my gum and root bleached or have a skin graft which is very invasive.

I feel the problem is the metal base as the temporary crown I had whilst I was waiting for this to be made, looked very good at the gum line and had no black line. I'm not so concerned with the dark gum as this is not as visible.

I have already paid a significant amount of money and feel unhappy to pay for another crown. Should my dentist have used a crown with such a visible metal base to begin with?

Many thanks

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question (id # 1307)

I had root canal surgery carried out on an upper front tooth nearly 30 years ago. This tooth is now very grey and looks unsightly. I have been told that I have two options to rectify this;

a) a crown

b) internal whitening

Which is the best option and what pitfalls should I be aware of?

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question (id # 1430)

My dentist says that I need root canal treatment. He has given me the choice of either having this done on the NHS at about 40 or to go private at a cost of 300. He says that the latter will be far more likely to be successful.

Could you give me an idea please, of the merits of paying for private care and what are the success rates of both methods?

In short - is it worth paying what is really a sizeable amount of money? I would really appreciate some help in making my decision.
Many thanks.

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question (id # 1467)

I had root canal treatment on the right side of my mouth second tooth from the back at the top, about 6 years ago, and in the last three days I have had severe tooth ache when I looked in the mirror I noticed that this tooth and the one just in front are both discoloured and are nearly black, how can this happen if I have already had the root canal treatment?. I have also been plagued by an abscess above my upper left 5 for the last 3years root canal treatment never became an option for this tooth as it was to badly damaged by the infection and is now having to be cut out. could the infection have maybe spread to the other side of my mouth?

I really don't think I could have another RC treatment because they are so painful..

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question (id # 1514)

I had a tooth (premolar I think - 4 from the front) refilled some years ago. Recently the back of this tooth dropped off. My dentist suggested a lab. made white filling or a crown. While I was considering these options the filling dropped out, initially there was no pain but last week I began to get pain which I managed with co-codamol. The dentist has now said I should have the remaining part of the tooth extracted and then consider bridge or implant. I had hoped to save the tooth but she said there were signs of nerve damage on the x-ray and if the infection was cleared with root canal treatment infection could still reoccur and extraction was the best option. Doesn't root canal treatment involve sealing off the root nerve preventing further infection? Is there any way this front part of the tooth could be preserved? I am still in pain despite antibiotics.

question (id # 1543)

Hi there,

After a few visits to my NHS dentist and some testing, he has found that I need a root canal treatment on one of my teeth.

The bottom front tooth (the one on the right, at the very front of the set of bottom teeth).

He has given me two options; NHS and Private.

After discussing with him the differences between the two, he has told me, with Private treatment:

1. The 'files' used to get through the canal are different and more intricate. With different sized files. Where as with the NHS it's all one size.
2. The material used to fill the canal afterwards is different as well.

What I'd like to know is:

1. As this tooth is quite small with a single canal right at the front of my teeth. Does this mean that the difference between doing it Privately or through the NHS would be very little? Considering the price difference is quite large (either 250 or 75)?

Thanks for your help!

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question (id # 1545)

Hi, im getting root canal done at greenhead dental practice, i started it on my checkup appointment so havent had much done, just got a temporary white filling so far(toothless until my next appointment in a just over weeks time) im having to get it done because my decayed tooth had become to weak and cracked off. my dentist has give me a plan, on this it says ''Crown - Porcelain bonded to Non- precious metal''(does this mean he has chose this crown and i dont have a choice) because through research and asking people i found that gold crowns are the best as theyre stronger and longer lasting etc. im having it done on my lateral incisor, im not bothered about all my teeth looking the same colour as i care more about it lasting long. can i choose if i want a gold one? Also, im paying 204 for my treatment, is the crown included or would i have to pay extra?

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question (id # 1556)

As there is  pain in my tooth from long time I went to the dentist. He said that this tooth has decayed , andcannot do a  filling and advised  a root canal and crowning. Is it better to go for crowning or for fixing the old tooth. 

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question (id # 1612)

my partner had a drill bit snap in his tooth while having a root canal. the dentist tried for 20 mins to retrieve it but couldnt. we had to pay for a consultation with a specialist who would try to repair the damage but can not afford it. are we responsible for paying for her mistake. i understand its something that can happen but she was so brutal while treating him pulling his jaw aroud its not srprising that it broke.

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question (id # 1652)

My 18 yr old daughter who is a A level student had dental pain and went to an NHS dentist (signed the forms etc) She was told that her old root canal filling had not been done properly and there was an infection when she went back a week later after completing anti-biotic provided she was told it would cost 400 for a re-root as the NHS would only do extraction is this right I can't afford to pay but I don't want my daughter to lose her tooth and cause self-conscious problems

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question (id # 1671)

Over the weekend , with no prior warning i.e pain or sensitivity, I developed swelling and tenderness in my gums which quickly spread to my right cheek. I sought an emergency appointment with my NHS Dentist. I found that the Dentist I was registered with for the past 30 years and whom I trusted has retired and therefore saw the new dentist who has taken over the practice.

In brief, he recommended that I have the offending tooth extracted (upper back double tooth) The reasons he gave me are that root canal work on back teeth is complex, more prone to failure and results cannot be guaranteed. I agreed to extraction as a treatment option following a course of anti-biotics, but in retrospect I'm not happy about this decision & would prefer to at least try to save the tooth. It has been filled previously, but seems quite solid with no obvious crumbling or decay. I cannot afford private treatment but would like to know if trying to save the tooth through my NHS Dentist ought to be a viable option and if I should question my Dentist's recommendation?

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question (id # 1670)

I suffered trauma in December 2012 which left my front tooth loose and my slightly protruded smaller tooth next to it was knocked out. I have since had root canal treatment on my front tooth and today had a temporary crown fitted, however the temp crown is longer than my other tooth and now there is still a gap at the side where my tooth was knocked out, is it possible to have a bridge or can the permanent crown be made slightly larger to hide the unsightly gap and filed down to be the same length as my other front tooth.

images (click to enlarge)

Click to enlarge image 

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question (id # 1790)

Hi, I join a NHS dentist that also do private only found that out when I had a check up as my root canal filing from 20 years ago felt a bit sensitive, and she said it hadn't been done properly it is fine now, anyway I paid £18 for the check up and X-ray, she wants to re do my root canal for £31 which is fine, but also wants to charge me privately £40 for a Hygienist and £500 for a crown, my gums are perfectly healthy and my tooth is not sensitive at the moment so why do I have to some of it as private if I thought I was registering for a NHS dentist? And do you know of any National health dentist where I could pay for crown instead of paying privately. Salaries are extremely low where I live and I cannot afford private.

Many thanks,


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