Ugh, I don’t even know what to say. I’m just really frustrated right now. I had my follow up appointment with my regular dentist. She was happy to hear that I didn’t need the root canal, but is still adamant that I get the filling replaced because she still sees decay under the current one. She hasn’t gotten a letter back from the referred dentist yet, so she doesn’t know exactly what he found and my explanation is probably not very helpful, but she thinks I misunderstood his suggestion to keep an eye on the tooth. She thinks he meant in regards to a root canal, whereas I thought he would have just told me to get it filled regularly if that’s what he meant. I could be wrong of course.
The thing is, she originally had 2 choices for this tooth. The first was to take a risk and do a regular filling, knowing that it may irritate the root because the previous filling, and therefore the decay, is so deep. If it irritated the root, I’d end up with tooth pain and I’d need a root canal, which means I’d be paying for both the regular filling and the root canal and eventually a crown (and with really sucky dental insurance, we pay most of the very high price). The other option was to just have the root canal, and since she thought the decay was deep enough, she recommended this option. Clearly, she thought the chances of root irritation on option number 1 was high.
So now, I have one dentist telling me I don’t need a root canal, and the other dentist basically telling me that there’s a good chance her attempts to fix me will just end up causing me to need a root canal. And costing me more money along the way. All this for a tooth with no pain. A tooth that now has a good chance of having pain after she’s done with it. Grr.
UPDATE: Well, I got a call from the referred dentist and apparently he has changed his mind and is now telling me that I need the root canal. It seems my regular dentist focused on the possible infection in her referral note, so that was all he was looking for (even though I’m sure he mentioned not seeing much decay). However, once he found out that she was going to replace the filling anyway, he said it would be better to do a root canal than risk needing one after a doing a regular filling (I suppose I should at least be thankful they don’t want to milk the extra few hundred dollars out of me to do both). So, next Tuesday, I’m having a root canal. Lovely.