I don’t usually go to the dentist because I rarely have problems with my teeth. But, one day I had a weird pimple like thing on my upper gum. My husband said that’s a dental emergency so I hauled myself off to the emergency dentist thinking he was overreacting. Then, when I got there the dentist insisted on doing a root canal treatment and dental crown. Now I’m out a bunch of money and think I’ve been duped. Shouldn’t I have been hurting if I needed such a drastic treatment?
There are some things going on here which worry me. First, no dentist can insist on a treatment. Not even an emergency dentist, which is really just a general dentist willing to see people for urgent needs. If you didn’t want to have the root canal treatment, just saying no should have been enough for him. Insisting is unethical.
However, I am glad you had the treatment done. It could save your life. I can’t make any money off you, so you’ll know I’m not being overly dramatic in order to talk you into treatment. A pimple on your gums means you have an abscessed (infected) tooth. You weren’t in pain which can mean several things.
One is you have an extraordinarily high tolerance for pain. While that might seem like a great thing, it’s actually dangerous because you can get in deep trouble before you recognize you need help. Think about how close your jaw is to your brain and heart. The infection will spread. If it reaches one of those areas it can turn life-threatening quickly.
Another possibility is it hurt while the infection was forming but you pushed past it and as the tooth died the pain subsided. The infection would start up again, this time spreading away from your jaw area.
The root canal treatment gets in there and removes all the infected pulp in your tooth preventing the infection from flaring back up. So, yes, it was a necessary treatment. He wasn’t taking advantage of you, with the exception of making you think you had no choice.
Why You Should See a Dentist
While you don’t seem to feel your teeth bothering you, it’s obvious you do have problems pop up without you realizing it. This infection is a prime example. Decay doesn’t usually show pain, so you wouldn’t know you had a cavity unless it reached the pulp of your tooth.
With your seeming high tolerance for pain, you may not even notice it then. That makes it all the more dangerous for you. Seeing a dentist regularly cannot only catch these type of things early, meaning a much less invasive and affordable treatment, but it can prevent them altogether.
The regular cleanings can get areas you may not be able to reach, plus you’ll get the additional fluoride treatments, which are like vitamins for your teeth. The x-rays and exams will show the dentists any decay popping up quickly. That means you can get a simple white filling instead of an invasive dental crown.
Another benefit is the dentist will do regular oral health checks for things like mouth cancer. Another disease which pops up without announcing itself with pain.
I’m glad you received the care you needed. Please don’t worry you spent the money unnecessarily. It was the right treatment for an infection.
This blog is brought to you by Buffalo Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.