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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3025
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 35 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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Please advise as I am feeling frustrated and upset. Have had

Customer Question

Hi- please advise as I am feeling frustrated and upset.
Have had a cracked/fractured tooth (second to last upper left side) for about 2 years now. It has a large old filling that has been re-filled over time. Does not cause any discomfort, except occasionally when I bite down on something hard (and there is momentarily some pain). I have a fear of dental work, and XRAYS (was diagnosed with growths on my thyroid and now try to avoid XRAYS).
Saw a new dentist in March and had full set of bite-wings. Dentist recommended a crown on cracked tooth, as expected. This dentist also tried to sell me braces and kept telling me I was pretty so I did not return.
Decided though to follow up on crown and saw another dentist in June. XRAYS from March dentist did not transfer since it was film and new dentist takes digital. Had one digital XRAY in June. Dentist performed test on tooth- blowing cold air and biting down. Said he did not believe there was nerve damage and most likely all that was needed was crown. Scheduled crown appointment for August (started new job and had to wait for insurance to begin).
Went back for crown yesterday. Saw the "crown specialist" in dental practice. He starts talking about possible needing root canal. Performed cold air test and biting down test and said there did not seem to be nerve damage. However, he said that there is "no guarantee" cracked tooth/nerve won't be traumatized by shaving down for crown or what he will discover once large filling is removed. Made a comment that filling was "poorly done." Took bite wing XRAY on left side of mouth. Then said if it looks like root canal is needed- he will place temporary crown on tooth and send me to endodontist to complete root canal. Said endodontist will take his own XRAYS. I became upset at this point- told him this tooth has been XRAYed 3 times now in 5 months and I will not have any more XRAYS. I decided I needed to think bout this and left without getting crown.
I am so upset now. I went to take care of this tooth and will proceed with crown and possible root canal if needed but I will not have tooth XRAYed again. Can you explain to me if there is a way for me to proceed without more XRAYs?
I am so frustrated with myself because I conquered my fear of dentist and attempted to finally address my cracked/broken tooth but left once I heard root canal is still possibly needed (even though tooth does not bother me) and that endodontist will take additional XRAYs (which I feel is unnecessary since 3 of tooth have been taken in last 5 months).
Any help you can offer is so appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

There is no reason to xray this tooth any more.It seems that you have alot of dentists around you that are unable to make a diagnosis.If your tooth needed to have root canal treatment,there would either be clear evidence of this on xray,you would have pain to heat,swelling and pain to biting pressure.If these symptoms are not evident,then root canal therapy is not needed.What you need to do is to find a competent experienced dentist who has been in practice for at least 10 years and get an opinion from him.The xrays can be transferred to his office by email.No further xrays should be taken at this point.

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

Is there any other information that you need?