I need a root canal

Caitlin - posted on 06/09/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Currently - no dental insurance whatsoever, the estimated cost of this is 1500$-2000$. Last time i went to the dentist (18 months ago) he told me this, and also capped it temporarily to buy me more time (he knos I don't have a ton of money). Now at night i'm getting throbbing pains in my jaw under that tooth and I just know it's screaming to get done. I'm 5 months pregnant right now. I get my dental insurance coverage back (50%) in september, but if I wait until then somehow (if I get lucky and it doesn't get worse) i'll be 8 months pregnant and I seriously doubt any dentist will do a root canal on a woman thats 8 months pregnant. *sigh*

If only I had money, it would solve the problem, but the prospect of getting at least 750$ back from the insurance is really enticing, but if I wait that long, I may have to wait until november after the baby is born to get it done. I should probably call my dentist to verify all of this, but last time I went I was also preggo and he said 2nd trimester is the preffered time to do anything to a pregnant woman, because it's less dangerous or something (that and they don't want to deliver a baby in the dentist chair i'm sure). *sigh*

I may look into the cost of getting it done at the school of dentistery, because it would most likely be cheaper...

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April - posted on 06/09/2011

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is it cheaper to just remove the tooth altogether? sorry if that is offensive or a stupid question. i was just legitimately wondering.

Caitlin - posted on 06/10/2011

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I loved when i got my wisdom teeth removed they gave me something to make me VERY unaware of what was going on, and I got to watch a DVD on these cool glasses that block out what's going on.. SO neat.. I remember I wasn't covered then and it cost me 2k for all 4, but it was 100% worth it.

I've been taking tylenol at night for the pain, which is acceptable, and it seems to be cutting it down to the point where I can sleep at least.. during the day it's not so bad. I think i got something "in" the tooth that was irritating it, I don't think it's infected or anything, but i'm keeping a close eye on it.

My insurance sadly is the crappy kind where I pay the money, and in 4-6 weeks I get back my portion of reimbursement, but it's still better than nothing. I've been going to the same dentist for years - he actually teaches at the school of dentistry (pediatric dentistry) but his practice is for all ages. I can usually split the payment in 3-4 payments, because i've never bounced a check before for them (phew).

I'm glad to see other women got it done during their pregnancies, that's what I was mostly worried about. I hope I can hold off until later, when the insurance kicks in. Pulling it isn't an option, because it's not the rear molar - it's the one in fron tof it, and it would really screw up my bite to get it removed (though i've thought about it).

Going to call my dentist on monday and see what he says..

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Teresa Ann - posted on 03/01/2013

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Hey Caitlin I know of a plan with no waiting periods,pre-exsisting conditions, covers braces & bleaching for about $9 for a Family. I hope this helps message me with questions.

[deleted account]

Just wanted to throw this in. I need a lot of work done on my teeth. I don't know how it works with other dental schools but, the one I spoke with doesn't even DO root canals. They only do cleanings and fillings and other simple procedures. I think if I were you, I'd get on some antibiotics to get rid of the infection and wait it out (if possible) until your insurance kicks in. That will help a lot with the money aspect.

Also, does the $1500 include the cap? I had two root canals done years ago and the price the dentist quoted me didn't include the caps. I didn't find this out until after he'd already done the two root canals and couldn't afford the caps. So ultimately, I ended up having to have both teeth removed. Hope it works out for you! I cannot stand going to the dentist! Something else to think about when your insurance kicks in is sedation dentistry. A lot of places are offering it now and when I finally have enough to fix my teeth, that's the route I'm taking. They give you a pill to take before you come in and another after you get there and then you wake up and it's done :)

April - posted on 06/10/2011

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Katie...6 root canals and pain so bad that you've blacked out?! That is horrible!!! I hope you never have to have another tooth problem again!! I thought I had it bad because i am very prone to cavities , but even I've only had one or 2 root canals in my life!!

Dana - posted on 06/09/2011

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Caitlin, I was going to suggest getting it done at a school of dentistry. That's where I get all my work done. It's cheaper and they're on top of new technology too. All my work has been done to perfection.



*edited to add* Do not wait, it's dangerous to you and the baby to have an infection like that.

Jane - posted on 06/09/2011

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The cheapest option would be to have it pulled at dentistry school. But you might talk to your dentist and see if he/she has any sort of payment plan. I haven't had dental insurance in years, ever since we maxed out our benefits doing orthodontia on the kids, and when I had crowns put in our dentist offered a payment plan. However, she also offered a discount if I paid in cash in one lump sum.

You do need to do something about the infection for sure. It can spread to your blood stream and to your heart, and even to the baby. A cousin of mine died in her twenties from a tooth problem that turned into sepsis (whole body infection).

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/09/2011

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Antibiotics are a good idea for sure if it's hurting, it does mean it is infected. Pulling it is cheaper, however none of us want to lose teeth lol

I was just also reminded that sometimes you can have enough work done (if it's going to be 1500$) they put you on a plan to pay it (works like a credit card I guess by the looks of it.) and depending on the amount, you just make the 100-200 dollar monthly payments to take care of it? I've seen these at alot of dentists lately so it's worth looking at??

Jenn - posted on 06/09/2011

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Brian had a tooth that needed a root canal, but opted to just have it pulled instead. I don't know what to tell you - is there any way that you could talk to the dentists office and see if they're willing to work with you?

Jenny - posted on 06/09/2011

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I'm having a root canal tomorrow actually. It sounds like it is infected, you should look into some antibiotics to at least relieve the pain until the baby is born. We have extended benefits at 80% so my share will be about $200 for the surgery. Are there any one that bill the companies directly or is it all reimbursement only?

Katie - posted on 06/09/2011

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as far as the insurance goes I am of no help, I have been lucky enough to be covered when I had all 6 of my root canals done. What I can say is that the risk of leaving a tooth that needs a root canal to it's own devices while you are pregnant can be really dangerous. In my situation the teeth that have needed root canals have needed them because of abscesses. And an abscess is an infection...Having an infection that close to your brain first of all is not something to ignore. And also, infection can get into your blood stream and effect your baby. I had a root canal done at 7 weeks pregnant and although I was VERY hesitant to go through with it (because they suggest that you don't have any dental work done during the first trimester) my dentist, doctor and I decided it was the best choice as I have a history of severe abscesses. Severe to the point where I have blacked out and been hospitalized and given morphine for the pain. As far as having it done at eight months, to my knowledge the only reasons dentists hesitate to work on pregnant women in the third trimester is their comfort. You are not supposed to be flat on your back for long periods of time. But the dentist can always give you a break and sit you up if need be. Obviously all situations are different and maybe you don't have the same problem in which case waiting might be a better option. Good luck and I am really, really sorry that your going through this. Tooth pain is the WORST ( I had an abscess that needed a root canal when my oldest was 2 weeks old, and I would have rather gone through labour 100 times. And I had back labour with no drugs and some tearing and stitches with no numbing.)

By the way I hate it when people come in with horror stories...Like I just did, lol. I have just gone through so much with my teeth in the last few years that I can't help but comment on threads like this. Sorry...

Tawny - posted on 06/09/2011

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There are some Dental places that have there own insurance and offer it at a low price. I would check around and yes it would be cheaper to go to a Dental School because they do need patients to work on. You will be fine at 8 months getting a root canal it is in the beginning of your pregnancy where they want to wait until 2nd trimester. Depends on which tooth it is I wouldnt have them pull unless maybe it is your last molar. If you dont have a tooth opposite of it then you should be okay. What happens is that if you lose the bottom tooth and the top tooth has no place to touch and sometimes the will move down and your bite will get screwed up. Im not a Dentist but was a dental assist. I would get an opinion on what would be best for you .. Good luck and I hope you find a Dentist that will do a good job for you!!

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/09/2011

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Hey Sharon, what drugs? I have a huuuuuuuge phobia of dentists too and so I need a root canal at the moment and cannot go in until after I deliver because they cannot give me any drugs to help with anxieties while pregnant.

Caitlin..... can you just do the procedure and have the amount billed to your insurance company later on? I know my mom mentioned this but I'm not sure if it would cover procedures done before getting insurance....... ? I dunno. Something to look into at least?

Jennie - posted on 06/09/2011

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I cannot give advice as to how to pay for it either, because I as well was covered when I had mine done. BUT, I was also 8 months pregnant with my first child when I got my one and only root canal done. I say if you can wait until you are covered, then do it. If you have fear about being pregnant, call your OB/GYN and get "permission", so to speak. I was in kinda of the same situation as Tasha as well. With my 4th pregnany, I had to have a tooth pulled and was in immense pain, my doctor referred me to my OB/GYN and they prescribed me a pain killer as well. I believe I was about 7/8 months pregnant.

Good Luck. I have had 4 children, all natural births, no drugs at all and I would rather give birth agin than have any kind of tooth ache for more than a day.

[deleted account]

Oh no! I have anxiety/panic attacks at teh dentist. Despite having dental insurance coverage, I still opted to wait until I was in such severe wnough pain that the only way I'd get the 2 root canals done is if I was drugged. I doubt that would be an option for you. But I do hope you find a solution soon so you are not in pain when the baby comes along!

Firebird - posted on 06/09/2011

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I needed a few root canals, I can't offer any advice on paying for it since I had mine done at a time when I was fully covered, but what I did to control the pain was this: I'd rinse my mouth with listerine mouthwash whenever it hurt, it was a pretty good temporary pain reliever,and I'd also use orajel a few times a day.

Tasha - posted on 06/09/2011

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I had a root canal at 7 months pregnant, your right i believe 2nd trimester is the safest to do that kind of dental work. I know money is an issue, it was for me too, i was recommeded a specialist by my regular dentist, who did something called care credit, i dont know if it is something they do everywhere or just here in washington, basically you make a down payment, and then pay monthly till its paid off. You will be so happy when its over with, the pain is terrible. Ive got 2000 in dental work already this year and have another 5000 at least by the end of the year, pregnancy played hell with my mouth, i dont know how we'll do it either, but your health is so important, my philosiphy is just do it, then figure out the money, if i waited till i could pay, id never have anything done. And as far as painkillers, if you are in extreme pain and cant get the procedure for a week or two, if you can see your regular dr, or your ob, they may be able to give you vicodin. I had to take it for a week around my 6th month for terrible headaches and muscle spasms. The theory is that you being in pain and stress is not good for the baby, so if the benifit outwieghs the risk, and its not for extended periods it is safe. Good luck, i totally feel your pain

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/09/2011

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That is a good idea! I never would have thought to go to a dentistery school, that would probably be a LOT cheaper. Sorry you hurt, that sucks. I would say get some good pain killers, but you can't! Let us know what happens with the dental school.

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