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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Are root canal or tooth extraction my options

02/16/2009

Question:

I visited a Dentist for the first time in my life last week and she informed that i had a cavity. (I am 21 yrs old). The main reason why i went to the dentist was that i had so much pain in my tooth and OTC pain medication did not help, also rinsing with warm water and salt did not help either. The dentist told me to go get my impacted wisdom tooth removed and then come back for either a root canal or an extraction. The pain has subsided and i also feel she didn`t do a thorough exam to be sure of the severity of the cavity and if getting it filled would be enough. I also feel she made her decision based on the level of pain i was in. I currently don`t have insurance and i wanted to ask about how to go about getting a second opinion from a different dentist, as i do have my x-rays and if there are home remedies to preventing further tooth decay and maybe even reversing the cavity. Thank you

Answer:

You should go online and see whether there are any clinics in your area that would be able to see you on an emergency basis for a second opinion.

Part of diagnosis is getting a history. Symptoms and pain symptoms go a long way toward making a diagnosis regarding whether root canal treatment is necessary.

Brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Try to avoid soda (or other drinks containing sugar) and sticky or sugary foods. Most cavities (tooth decay) can not be reversed.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Adults) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University