I had a toothache and went to see a dentist. I had not had a checkup in a year because I live in a new area and just had not made that a priority. This dentist did an x-ray and said the tooth, which already had a filling, is very far gone and may not be saveable. He’ll go in and dig out the decay but doesn’t think there will be enough structure left to keep the tooth. This idea terrifies me. I have a hard enough time getting through my normal appointments, but this sounds extensive. I don’t know if I can do it. Could the tooth really be that bad? I’m thinking of getting a second opinion.
I’m not feeling positive about what I’m hearing. I actually think it would be in your best benefit to get a second opinion. Here are some of my concerns:
1. You didn’t say whether or not this was the first time you’d had a toothache in this tooth since it had been filled. If this was the first time, then it is a recent infection. If that’s true, it would be highly unusual for it to be unsavable that soon. A tooth in that bad of a condition would have been hurting you for months.
2. A second issue I have is an x-ray wouldn’t have been necessary with a tooth that could not be saved. You would see all the deterioration with the naked eye.
3. Finally, the filling would have fallen out by now as well.
You didn’t mention any of those scenarios. Before you move forward, see someone else. There is a trick to getting a second opinion. You want to make sure you get the dentist’s unbiased diagnosis. To get that, don’t tell him what the first dentist said or even who the dentist was. It’s possible they are friends and you don’t want him in a divided loyalty situation.
If he asks, just tell him you just want his opinion without previous influence. He shouldn’t have a problem with that.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
You are not the first patient to face dental anxiety. Don’t feel alone. In fact, there are many dentists who sympathize and enjoy treating patients who face fear in the dental chair. They want to give them a positive experience in order to change their outlook on oral health care.
Most of them offer a type of dental sedation. This can give you an anxiety-free and pain-free dental appointment. You’ll find you no longer fear going to the dentist. It has the additional benefit of allowing you to get more work done at each appointment. If you’re a little behind on your work, you could catch up quickly.