The filling in my lower left second molar cracked, and the tooth cracked. My dentist removed the filling and put a crown on the tooth in June. I felt pain most of the appointment. When my dentist checked my bite, it hurt. Within three days, I returned to the office because it hurt to chew with the tooth and floss between it. The dentist asked me to return early last month for a new crown. When I went in for the crown, the dentist said I needed a root canal after all because the tooth had a periapical abscess. I was upset because the dentist never told me that I might need a root canal eventually. I do not want a root canal, but the dentist says my other option is extraction. Should I have to pay for the extraction, and should I request a refund for a crown that I will lose along with the tooth? – Marco from GA
Thank you for contacting us about your case. Yes, your dentist’s work was sloppy. A cracked molar and filling mean that the tooth is already weak. Putting a crown on the tooth without checking its condition is careless. And your dentist should have mentioned root canal treatment. Then you returned to the office for an attempted second time, but you had a periapical abscess. We understand your frustration and not wanting any more treatment from this dentist. But why not consider root canal treatment?
Reasons to Consider Root Canal Treatment
A periapical abscess is a sack of pus from an infection that settles at the tooth roots. And it means the living tissue inside your tooth is dead. A dentist can drill into your tooth, remove the dead pulp, and refill the tooth—and it will be painless. So, root canal treatment would not hurt, but extraction can be traumatic.
Effects of tooth extraction
Root canal treatment is more manageable than extraction for other reasons. Consider the effect of tooth extraction:
- Surrounding teeth will drift toward the space of the missing tooth
- Your tooth alignment and bite will change
- You will need a dental bridge or an implant to replace the tooth and prevent other teeth from moving
- Without tooth replacement, you can also develop TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, including jaw pain, earaches, neck pain, headaches, and more
Ask for a Refund
You agreed to a dental crown to restore your tooth, but it didn’t work. And now, instead of a second tooth, you need root canal treatment. It is appropriate to ask your dentist for a refund. If your dentist does not admit his mistakes, explain that you received faulty work—not a solution.
You can see a cosmetic dentist for a second opinion. Afterward, you can use the results of the visit to ask your dentist for a refund. Best wishes for a fair resolution.
Duane Delaune, DDS, an accredited cosmetic dentist of Metairie, New Orleans, sponsors this post.