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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT



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Question:
Root Canal Therapy Long story short: my general dentist started to perform a Root Canal on tooth #28 through a crown he recently cemented.

Things seem to be going good till I started to experience some discomfort towards the end of the filling of the canal. No matter how much extra Novocaine he gave I was still feeling a little pain. He also says that the canal won't stay dry it would bleed from time to time. So he decided that he did not feel comfortable continuing the RCT.

So he puts a temp plug and says that he recommends me to see an endodontist instead cause he can't figure out whats going on. He does not feel comfortable continuing the RCT. He does not charge me for any of the procedure and gives me a referral to a nearby endodontist.

Now instead of $350 for what he would of charged I'm now looking at $1000 and nothing is guaranteed if I have the endodontist do it. The reason I went to him was to save money and he told he could do it.

My question is can a dentist do this? Start a RCT then quit when he feels there is going to be a problem and just passes it over to some one else to deal with?

Isn't he obligated to finish what he started or at least help pay for it since he couldn't finish it. There has got to be some set of standards for starting procedures and finishing them isn't there?

I'm at a loss as to what to do. That is too much money and he doesn't want to finish ...Visitor from IL

Answer:
From our perspective it appears you have a "good" dentist.

It appears he agreed to perform a routine root canal at a skill level that is NOT on par with the skill set of a "root canal expert" (Endodontist). If general dentists shared the skill set there would not be the specialty of Endodontics.

You didn't get charged for his "experimental try". Some dentists WOULD have charged you.

Searching for some kind of ruling that "forces" a general dentist to complete a procedure that is beyond his/her capability (usually due to differing access to technologies and training) makes little sense.

Editorial Staff

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