Dental insurance through work changed and I had to go to a new dentist.
Went for a cleaning and they indicated in needed 15 some odd fillings (a few new -mainly replacing old). My teeth were not bothering me at all.
Did (3) fillings.
One month later horrible pain in one that was filled. Went in -it was abcessed. So root canal.
Went in for the cap post root canal. The dentist could not complete the appointment as I was in god awful pain despite multiple injections (as in tears running down my face pain).
X-rays indicated the tooth next to it was also starting to abscess. They started me on antibiotics.
The next day and the week since that tooth has caused me the most god awful pain. I have been back to the dentist once but other than prescribed meds she feels she can't do anything until things calm down. A root canal is scheduled for next week.
Meanwhile I suffer. Can't eat. And have popped a gnat hemotoma from the injections in the roof of my mouth.
I scheduled a 2nd opinion (out of pocket) but ended up canceling as I couldn't imaging anyone rooting around in there just yet. The pain is that bad.
I am frustrated as I went in with no pain...and now have had 1 root canal and am scheduled for another while enduring the worst pain of my life.
So I guess -2nd suck it up and reschedule 2nd opinion?
It often takes months after I have a root canal to get back to normal. Even though the problem is solved, the surrounding nerves can be inflamed (especially if there was an infection) and they can take a long time to heal.
I found 2 Aleve really helped me the last time. And make sure you don't wait until you're hurting again to take the next dose. I probably took a year off the life of my kidneys, but it was the only way to function without feeling I had been smacked in the face with a baseball bat.
A second opinion would be worthwhile if you felt at all uneasy with the way you were treated.
AGree that them telling you you needed 15 fillings is a HUGE red flag.
20 years ago I went to a dentist that told me I needed 18 fillings. I made the appointment but cancelled at the last minute b/c I am terrified of dentists. Thank God I did. I waited a year before going to a new dentist. What did he say? ZERO fillings needed. I never have had *18* fillings; over the past 20 years I've had maybe 2 needed.
I would get a 2nd opinion. My Dad is a dentist and I worked in his office for years. He never turns a patient away or makes them wait when they are in pain. EVER. If it is 2 AM and a patient is in pain he goes in. It sounds like the dentist is incompetent if they cannot get you numb. Making you wait is crazy and going in should help alleviate the pressure (if done correctly). The whole situation sounds crazy to me. Get to another dentist.
Disclaimer: I am not a dentist, but I worked in the office for 18 years!
Have been away from the dentist, simply because every new one I've sought out in the past 10 years has wanted to go to the moon and back with recommendations.
First, long term dentist moved with others into new fancy medical center. Prices went up, personnel got snarky, and even my dentist, as he got old, was getting miserable. Then I broke a tooth. They sent me to "the best" oral surgeons in the area. The waiting room was packed like sardines, some standing. Even a woman in a wheelchair - an obvious cancer patient who had been through chemo - was made to wait a long time. When I went in the room, the young docs barely acknowledged me - then addressed one issue and totally forgot to discuss the other. I never went back.
Living with exSO in another state, we decided to get back on track and signed up with the local practice. The town is a high rent district. This practice wanted us both on all kinds of preventative care. I have a history of awful teeth in the family, and have already had multiple root canals, caps, and fillings. Neither of us was bothered by anything. But beginning that care then meant being hounded to return routinely for stuff we really didn't think we needed. That was the end of that practice.
Broke a tooth 2 years ago shortly after moving back home. New dentist in town was a home town girl who also had just returned, so glad to give her the business. Spent a LOT of money addressing the newly broken tooth, and having other work done. She was not good. Had the fanciest equipment available, but could not get me numb properly. My eyes were numb before my teeth were! It often took her 3 tries to figure it out. She was always in a hurry, would ask if I was comfortable and jump in before I could respond. Often didn't get the equipment placed correctly before going through all the procedures. I did get a lot of work done acceptably, but once again stopped going back after too many basic issues. AND the constant harrassment of looking for more work to do.
Haven't been back since, and not sure where I'll find someone again. Sigh.
Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes
You need another dentist, not another opinion. I agree that replacing all of those fillings is a huge red flag, and probably not needed. I think that's what started everything anyway. Did they give you antibiotics to reduce the infection? Your regular doctor should be able to give you a script for pain killers and antibiotics, even if the dentist won't.
I would also skip the second opinion and get a whole new dentist if your insurance allows that. I have a fear of dental work and my new dentist has been great. They tell me that if I have any pain/discomfort/roughness around the fillings, to call them right away so they can address the issue immediately. Their policy is to never have patients in pain after a procedure. It has done wonders for my confidence.
A good way to find a general dentist is to look up endodontists and periodontists in your area and ask them for general dentistry referrals. If you hear some of the same names more than once, chances are good that you've got a good general dentist.
Having moved quite a bit and being one of those unlucky people with dental issues, this has worked pretty well for me.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
Just had my hubby (dentist) read your post. Here are his comments:
1. Get a second opinion
2. Get a specialist to do your root canals and not the regular dentist
3. " I have never diagnosed anyone in 30 years with that many cavities unless they were disgusting, drug addicted or have never seen a dentist . .ever."
4. Getting someone numb when they are that inflamed is a real "bitch" sometimes, and can be very normal for that to happen, that's why you go see a specialist, they have other options that a general dentist may not have
5. Get a second opinion (did I mention that already? lol!)
He also says no heat on your face at all, no hot showers, just warm, ice pack for 20 minutes on and off your face. Sleep with your head elevated if possible and GET A SECOND OPINION AND SEE A SPECIALIST!!!
Skip it and get a new dentist. My mother's a dentist, I hung out in her office and got lectured on my teeth enough to know being told you need fifteen fillings with no symptoms and regular dental care is crap. And the pain sounds like they screwed up, not that there was anything wrong to begin with.
I disagree that you need a specialist to do ordinary root canals, but you probably will need one to fix this because none of that should have happened.
OP, please do get a referral for an endo specialist for root canals. My husband's best buddy is an endodontist and he tells us all the time that he spends a good portion of his time fixing root canals that general dentists attempt.
They are highly trained and can easily detect hidden canals and other issues that a general dentist can't. They know all the tricks to deal with inflammation etc. They are specialists for a reason.
My husband is a top notch dentist and he no longer does root canals on people. He hasn't for years. He believes that the specialist is the way to go as too many general dentists screw up root canals.
You really aren't going to pay much more; however you will have the peace of mind that the procedure will be done correctly with the correct instruments. There are some very specialized instruments that an endodontist utilizes that a general dentist may not have available.
Who is your dental insurance through? I work in group dental insurance so can help you with this if you need it. Please tell your insurance company who the dentist was that suggested 15 fillings - they should be audited and removed from the network. Also, go to your insurance company for help - they can get you pre-treatment estimates, give you literature, and general advice.
Do what Brookes said, except go to a specialist in network. You shouldn't have to pay more depending on who your coverage is through.
I had the same scenario happen - new dentist, wanted to do tons of work, my teeth didn't hurt, no jagged edges, no bad breath. One of my neighbors (hisband of a really good friend) is an Endo so I asked him to just look in my mouth and let me know what he thought. And he thought what I thought - nothing needed to be done. He gave me a recommendation to another dentist that didn't find any work to do but cleanings for the last 5 years.
I'd take Brook's husband's advice. I just went through this (see last OT day thread.) Root canal pain is a whole new level of pain I've never felt. I HATE shots in the gum and I was almost begging the dentist.
I was SO happy to be numb and not prepared for it to come back. Nothing gets that pain, and it takes awhile to go away. I was dry heaving at the pharmacist picking up my antibiotics as the numbing shot wore off and then spent the rest of the day shaking in bed. It takes a few days for the nauseating pain to back off on antibiotics, and really weeks for it to be normal again. Vicodin did NOTHING for it. The only thing that helped me a bit was about 800 mg of ibuprofen every 3/4 hours and the ice. The ice was the only way I got through the first night.
The antibiotic, clindoyacin or something, really made me sick, like horrible chest pains, but I finished it because I was not going to go through that pain again, and it didn't give me the diarrhea or skin reactions that get some people into the ER.
The ice pick in the eye and the ear drum is a pain I do not want to ever feel again.
I'm sorry. I'm getting chest pains just thinking about you.
I drive over 60 miles one-way to my dentist, and I live in an urban area with probably hundreds of closer options... I've been seeing this same dentist (tiny small-town practice) for about 15 years, and every time I have to take half a day off work to get there and back for my twice-a-year appointments, I wonder if it isn't time to just switch to a closer provider, especially since my dentist is "getting up there" and is probably close to retirement.
And then I read threads like this.
I've had a few fillings and a crown over the years, so he's had to numb me maybe half a dozen times, and never once did I feel ANYTHING. You all are now giving me a panic attack........
*friend of bar.ka
"Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"