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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT



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Question:
Failing root canals and lost crowns:
I have had three root canals over the years and three crowns. The least expensive of these procedures was $2000.

In every case, the teeth with the crowns became abcessed and had to be pulled. Why is it that dentists don't guarantee their work? Why aren't they accontable like doctors are?

The ones I have seen seemed more than willing to take my money for root canals and crowns that wouldn't take. Now that their work has failed, and I have lost my teeth, what can I do to make them accountable.

But more importantly, why are the root canals ALWAYS abcessed? Is it me? ...Visitor from OR

Answer:
Doctors and Dentists are held to the same medical standards and because the "practice of medicine" means that it is not an exact science.

Doctors and Dentists cannot guarantee their work because it would violate ethical standards of care. Doctors treat cancer and patients die anyway. Doctors do heart surgery and patients die anyway.

Lawyers lose cases and take far more than the cost of a root canal because they cannot guarantee they would win. Politicians guarantee all kinds of things and most never come true. It would be impossible to provide a guarantee that the patient would live or that treatment would be a success.

Root Canals can be very difficult if not impossible to treat without the dentist ever knowing it. A lot depends on the condition of the tooth when it is treated.

As an example, the tooth is very painful and the patient goes to the dentist. The problem is that the patient is not going to the dentist on a consistent basis for routine maintenance. The teeth get so infected that by the time treatment is started the tooth is badly infected throughout the root structure and into the jaw bone.

If the patient were going to the dentist on a consistent basis, they may never had needed the root canal in the first place. The dentist may have been able to find the cavity when it was small and do a simple filling rather than an expensive root canal and crown.

If all of your teeth were treated properly with root canal treatment, they may not have been successful because of the condition of the tooth before treatment. The dentist sometimes can determine if treatment would be too risky.

But because dentists cannot look down the canals of your roots, they can only make the best guess at the time of treatment. You either pull the tooth or treat it with root canal treatment. The key word is treatment.

The dentist gives his or her best effort for your benefit and wants the treatment to be successful as much as you. If you were a dentist and gave your best effort all of the time, no matter what you do, a certain percentage of the root canals you complete will fail.

That is the reality of "practicing dentistry." Fortunately, most root canals do work. The success rate is over 85% nationally. Many teeth have been saved with root canal treatment that would have had to be extracted. Many people are relieved of chronic pain by root canal treatment. It has been a highly successful procedure.

It sounds like you have had more than your fair share of root canal treatment failures and you want revenge. It is possible that you did not receive the best care, or perhaps you did not go to the dentist regularly for x-rays and exam.

Perhaps you did everything right and so did the dentists. The fact still remains that root canal treatment is a highly successful treatment choice and so are implants if teeth are eventually extracted.

A certain percentage of implants fail too. The majority of implant treatment and root canal treatment have provided better health, comfort and chewing ability that improves the quality of all of our lives.

Do you guarantee that you will be perfect at your job? Do you refuse your paycheck if you made a mistake?

Move Forward with your Dental Care and don't waste time on revenge.

Editorial Staff

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