All three dentists mentioned the possibility of a root canal.
Dentist # 1 referred me to an endodontist who took an x-ray and said it would be impossible to do a root canal because the canal(s) were calcified.
Dentists 2 (i.e., second opinion, but not in my dental plan) said that the tooth had canals, abeit narrow ones, but that the decay was too far advanced to save the tooth.
Dentist 3 (3rd opinion) said the same thing and referred me to an implant guy, who explained the process. I already know the process, because I had an implant in the adjacent tooth, which Dentist 1 crowned. I am still paying (different implant guy) for the first implant, completed 2 years ago.
Yes, the temporary filling is still there. When the dentist put it in, he said if it didn't bother me after a while he could do a permanent filling. However, he blew me off when I called to say I was having discomfort in the tooth area and felt generally sick--said that if my face wasn't swollen, it wasn't an abcess. He has never followed up to see how I'm doing or to schedule the permanent filling. It was a few weeks in between the temporary filling and when it started to bother me, although it was very sore for several days after the temporary filling.
Dentist No. 2 said that it was infected and prescribed the antibiotics. I scheduled an extraction, but cancelled after checking with my dental plan and finding that although the dentist accepts my insurance, he isn't in the plan, so I pay more and have to pay up front for every procedure.
I got a list of providers in my plan and checked their reviews. Dentist # 3, the one I ended up with, is in his 60s and well respected in Washington, DC. He doesn't need to be in my dental plan to build up his practice but retains the affiliation as a community service.
Yes, of course the dentist took x-rays at the time. It is inconceivable to me that he wouldn't have known when he put in the temporary filling that there was still decay and that the tooth could not be saved. Or, am I wrong about that?
He's a nice guy but he also did the soft tissue procedure that I mentioned and neglected to have it biopsied. Therefore, my insurer did not pay him and the $500 fee is showing up on my bill. I found out that he was required to do the biopsy to be paid by the insurer by calling my plan. When I spoke with him today he said he was still trying to get them to pay somthing, and told me not to worry about it.
The worst part is that I'm now having another problem in the same place--a lump or lesion on the inside of my lip. Dentist # 3 said I would need to go to an oral surgeon to get it taken care of.
What do you think? I realize this is more than one question and I am willing to pay another $15 to get some professional guidance.
Will not be home to check my computer for answers until about 10:00 pm