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Old 08-26-2010, 09:51 AM   #1
Mickey527
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Root canal re-do ?

I guess this is budget since I can't afford it and need some answers.
Has anyone ever heard of a root canal being done that needed to be redone again a few years later? The dentist receptionist said she has heard of people needing to get it redone and the insurance person I spoke to said she had to get one re done once when at a specialist's office.
I had a root canal on a canine tooth (one root) in 2006. It hurts every once in a while so about a year ago the dentist re-opened the filling and re reamed it and said he did all he could and couldn't see any more root. He put in a temporary filling since I wouldn't let him fill it and do the crown until I know it doesn't hurt any more.
I went back to him a few weeks ago and he said he can't do anything else I need to see an endodontist (root canal specialist)
I went to see one yesterday and he said there is still root there and he has to do an entire new root canal to get it cleaned out.
He submitted a pre estimate to my insurance and they said they won't pay since the tooth already had a root canal and they paid for that.
The endodontist wants me to come up with $1,200 for the new root canal and I don't have that money at all.
I had 3 root canals and 4 crowns put on last year and had to take out 10,000 from my retirement money to pay. I am on disability and will need all the retirement I have when I turn 67 and lose my disability money. I can't afford to keep tapping into that since I have less than $60,000 in there right now.
I am going back to the original dentist tomorrow to see if he can clean more out but he didn't want to do anything last time.
Does anyone know if I have a legal leg to stand on in making him pay at least 1/2 of the endodontist fee?
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
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Have you talked to the dental insurance people yet? It IS possible that a root 'could" grow back. It is mor likely that there was an additional root that they did not see and therefore did not take out. For example the molars usually have four canals that need to be treated while others have 3 and then 2. I had a bi-cuspid that had an "extra" canal that did not show up on Xray since one of the canals was inline with it so it looked like it was part of that canal but they found it when they got in there. I do know that even if you get a crown, the crown still could need to be replaced in like 7 years. If they did not get deep enough to get the root or if they did not put enough sealant in there the root would grow back. I think you might be better off to try and see if you can recoup your costs for the orginial procedure.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:48 AM   #3
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I had to have a root canal redone. I was also sent to a specialist the second time around. Apparently I had developed an infection in there and it needed to be treated and redone. Both my dentist and specialist needed to know how long ago it was done in order to see if the insurance would cover it. I think it had to be over 2, maybe 3 years old, which it was, so I had no probs with the insurance covering it.
I would contact your insurance company and see if they have some stipulation like that on your coverage. Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #4
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If the root isn't sealed properly, or if you crack the tooth a little, the infection can set into the area, and yes, they re-do the root canal, either by drilling back into the tooth or by cutting into the gum to get to the upper root, which is called an apicoectomy. From the price you're quoting, that sounds like an apicoectomy.

I had one a couple of years ago, and insurance didn't cover much of it at all.

No clue if you have any legal rights in the matter, but good luck.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:07 PM   #5
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I doubt that you have any legal recourse here. Like a lot of medical procedures, root canals are not an exact science.

I had to have a root canal redone last April. My dentist sent me to an endodontist. Insurance paid most of it, but I don't think I had insurance the first time around. The endodontist recommended that I come back in a year to have the root canal checked. I was busy and didn't do that (her office is at least 45 minutes away) -- hope I don't regret it.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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I had a root canal re-done about 3 years ago. This was from a root canal 6 years prior to that. The tooth, we believe was hit by a breathing tube when I had surgery and it moved the crown enough to undo the root canal. Just a freak accident and no, I didn't go after anyone for the money. My insurance doesn't cover root canals at all so they are all out of pocket. I did, however, ask for a cash discount from the endodontist (always get root canals done through an endodontist). I paid them in full that day off and they gave me 5 or 10% off. I believe the final cost was around $1100 and this included the followups to make sure it was holding. We did follow-ups for a year where they would take x-rays and check on the progress. Now it's holding well and I'm pain free.

The only down side was that when she was re-doing it, the crown fell off. She put it back on temporarily but it had to be re-seeded by my dentist at a cost of $300 to me.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
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My husband had to have one re-done and also went to the Endodontist for it. They can fail. My DD works for an Endo and sees it all the time. I would only go to the specialist!
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:23 PM   #8
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I was supposed to get my root canal re-done. I visited a second endodontist (long story but wanted one who used gas) and she recommended just getting the tooth pulled because it was likely cracked and not savable. I followed her advice and sure enough once it was pulled, the tooth was badly cracked (didn't show up on the x-ray) and not savable. Ended up saving the $1500 that the root canal and new crown would have cost and all the hassle.

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Old 08-26-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
I was supposed to get my root canal re-done. I visited a second endodontist (long story but wanted one who used gas) and she recommended just getting the tooth pulled because it was likely cracked and not savable. I followed her advice and sure enough once it was pulled, the tooth was badly cracked (didn't show up on the x-ray) and not savable. Ended up saving the $1500 that the root canal and new crown would have cost and all the hassle.

Jill in CO
I wish I would have just had mine pulled like you did. I had a root canal done by an endodontist. 3 years later I was in a lot of pain, and the same endodontist practice did the retreatment of the root canal. They said they were 85% sure the tooth could be saved by the retreatment. Well a few days later I was in excruciating pain, and the tooth ended up having to be pulled. My insurance did pay for the 2nd root canal on the same tooth. Too bad that maxed out my insurance for the year, because I had to pay for the extraction out of pocket.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
I wish I would have just had mine pulled like you did. I had a root canal done by an endodontist. 3 years later I was in a lot of pain, and the same endodontist practice did the retreatment of the root canal. They said they were 85% sure the tooth could be saved by the retreatment. Well a few days later I was in excruciating pain, and the tooth ended up having to be pulled. My insurance did pay for the 2nd root canal on the same tooth. Too bad that maxed out my insurance for the year, because I had to pay for the extraction out of pocket.
I got lucky. If I hadn't gone to a second endodontist because the first one wanted to do the root canal with local only, then I would have had the root canal, new crown, and would have still had a broken tooth. As it was, the tooth had a massive infection. Sorry, gross I know but I'm so glad I went with the second opinion.

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Old 08-26-2010, 07:20 PM   #11
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unless it is the front have it pulled- no way would I tap my retirement for it--after all you are out could have paid 5 grand for pulling all and doing dentures
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:36 PM   #12
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KNEIPPK, I agree, I had told the Dr early on that I wanted to just pull them all and get dentures but he of course wouldn't go for that. It is not like when our parents were our age and they pulled your teeth, now a dentist won't pull it unless there is major problems. So to stop the pain that I had with that tooth and to get the 4 crowns done on my front teeth that were necessary because I had them done originally in 1970 I had to take out some of my retirement money.
But I think this tooth is a major problem and I am going to talk to the dentist tomorrow about having it pulled. My insurance will pay for a partial for that area but won't pay to try and save it. Guess they know best.
thanks for all the replies, I couldn't believe that root canals had to be redone, I thought the dentist was just not doing his job correctly but many of you have had this happen too.
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