Do I need another root canal?

Ten years ago I had a root canal done. It was for a molar. And I eventually had to have it redone a few years ago. I can’t believe it but it is starting to bother me again. My dentist referred me back to the same endodontist and told me that the best solution will be to have the tooth extracted. He said that it is the best way to go since it keeps becoming reinfected. I don’t want to have my tooth pulled if I don’t have to. Is there any other option?

– Daniel in Nebraska


Typically a root canal treatment works great the first time around. But there is always a possibility that it may not be successful. For example, if the canals were not cleaned as they should be or the seal was faulty than you may have a reoccurring infection. As a tooth is retreated the chances of a successful root canal become lessened. So instead of spending more money on another root canal treatment, it may be in your best interest to have it extracted. A dental implant or dental bridge would replace the missing tooth.

Their are pros and cons when comparing dental implants vs. a bridge. The bad news is that dental implants are usually not covered by dental insurance and are very expensive. Implants are the best option to replace a missing tooth as long as you have healthy jawbone present at the site. The entire placement procedure usually takes about six months to complete. A dental bridge typically is covered by insurance but probably will require an upfront cost under most plans. It tends to be more affordable yet the teeth around the missing tooth have to be prepared. So there is a disadvantage because if those teeth are otherwise healthy they will endure more stress to support the dental bridge. Three weeks is the length of time for the completion of a dental bridge with two appointments.

Meet with your dentist and be upfront about your budget. There are many affordable dentists that will work with you on payment plans or may make other arrangements. Your dentist will have the best recommendation because they have all the information about your dental history.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What is the cost of diagnostics for dental implants?

I am trying to find out if I am a dental implant candidate. I am also wondering how much it is going to cost for the diagnostics to help determine this?

– Jeno in Oregon


Thank you for your question. The dental implants process is quite sophisticated and there are a lot of diagnostics that are required prior to moving forward. This is to help ensure that there are no surprises and complications when the dental implants are placed. If proper diagnostics are not completed, you may be at risk for nerve damage or issues with the sinus cavities, to name a few. If you are an individual that is missing all of your teeth, than it is likely that your dentist will require a 3-D CT scan. One of these kinds of scans can run in the ballpark of $2,000, but is well worth the cost to avoid any mishaps. If you are just requiring one dental implant, a panographic x-ray may suffice which costs approximately one hundred dollars.

Now if you are simply trying to determine if you are a candidate, this can be done in a simple office consultation. In fact, many dentists will provide this as a complimentary consultation, but either way it will not cost that much. You can expect that the dentist will ask you about your general health and medical history.

Affordable dental implants or mini implants are sometimes an option under the right circumstances. These fixtures are much smaller so the surgery is less involved. Although, you really need to do more research to determine if the pros outweigh the cons with this procedure. If they are not done correctly, they can lead to dental implant failure because their smaller diameter means they are not as strong.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Fear of the dentist

I admit, I have a mega fear of the dentist. I hate needles of any kind and I have recently been informed that I need to get complete dentures. I want to be put out! Can they do this at the hospital so I can be put to sleep?

– Carl in Arizona


It is not unheard of for a hospital to admit dental patients so they can use general anesthesia. That said, it is very expensive and not every dentist would be willing to do it. Fortunately, there are many dentists that offer sedation dentistry. There are special sedation training and certifications which enable dentists to perform teeth extractions in their own dental office. Or many dentists work with oral surgeons that offer IV sedation or general anesthesia at their office so you can be put out for the dental procedure. Going this route could end up saving you thousands of dollars. Below is some more information about the pros and cons of oral sedation, IV sedation, as well as the use of general anesthesia.

With oral sedation or what is also known as sleep dentistry:

  • You won’t remember anything about the procedure
  • You won’t feel anything
  • You are sedated but you are still conscious. This means that you will still be able to breathe on your own.
  • Popular medications used along with sedation are anti-anxiety drugs, depressants, nitrous, and even tranquilizers
  • Not as expensive as general anesthesia.

IV Sedation:

  • Recovery time is very short
  • You are conscious and can communicate during the procedure
  • Feel sleepy during appointment
  • Patients are relaxed and calm, feel sleepy
  • Sedation is quick
  • Dosages can be adjusted and individualized
  • Higher level of sedation than oral sedation

General Anesthesia:

  • Unconscious, no control of muscles or other protective reflexes
  • No communication during procedure
  • Breathing will be done with tube to keep airway open
  • Drowsiness common for longer periods of time after treatment
  • Higher risk for other complications
  • Costs the most out of the sedation options.

Hopefully this provides you with enough information to figure out how you want to address the extraction of your teeth in preparation for dentures. Your personal doctor and dentist have all your general health information, so discuss the best option for your specific case with them.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


Extraction and sedation dentistry.

I have been putting off going to the dentist for years. Finally, my toothache has gotten to be too much. One small problem is that I am scared of the dentist. In fact, I had a panic attack at my last dentist appointment and it was so embarrassing. I have been looking into sedation dentistry. Can you tell me more about it and if it is safe?

– Rachel in Idaho


Many people deal with dental fear. There are dentists that focus on sedation dentistry and sincerely want to help you get the dental care you need. If you Google the term “cater to cowards dentist” you may have some luck finding one of these dentists. One that specializes in sedation will likely not make you feel bad about the condition of your teeth. They understand where you are coming from and are more focused on helping you than making you feel guilty.

Here is an idea of what you can expect with sedation dentistry or what is often referred to as sleep dentistry. The dentist will prescribe you some medication that you will be instructed to take about an hour before your appointment. It will make you feel sleepy and you probably won’t remember anything much about the dental visit. It is completely safe in an office setting because you are still conscious. This means that your natural protective reflexes like coughing and breathing will still work just like they normally do. But as an added safety precaution your vital signs will be monitored throughout the procedure to make sure everything remains stable. You will also need to arrange a ride home from your appointment because the medication will take awhile to wear off.

A tooth extraction is usually a last resort for most dentists. There are many options to replace a missing tooth, ranging from a dental bridge, a partial denture, to a dental implant.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.