I had a toothache and went to see a dentist. I’m new to the area and COVID-19 hit before I could find one. He did an x-ray and said a tooth I already had filled has massive decay. He doesn’t think the tooth can be saved and would like me to schedule an appointment for an extraction. I have to tell you going to the dentist is not my best thing. I get super nervous. Should I get a second opinion?
I do think you need to get a second opinion before having this tooth extracted. Though I haven’t seen the x-rays there are a couple of things which have raised some red flags.
First, if your tooth was that far gone, it would have started hurting you a long time ago. Based on what you wrote, it sounded to me like your tooth just started hurting. I could be wrong on that, though. That leads me to the second reason. When he said he didn’t think the tooth could be saved, he shouldn’t have needed an x-ray to see that. An unsavable tooth is usually obvious. I certainly think the filling you already had wouldn’t have fallen out.
Dealing with Your Dental Anxiety
You mentioned you aren’t the best when it comes to dental work. You’re not the only one who feels that way. Even some dentists struggle with dental anxiety, though maybe that has more to do with not being the one in control. The good news is there is a way to help you with that anxiety.
When you get your second opinion, see if you can find a dentist who treats dental emergencies who is also a sedation dentist. If it turns out you need a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction, they can provide you with a pill used in oral conscious sedation. This completely relaxes you. So much, in fact, that you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. You won’t be very steady on your feet and certainly in no condition to drive.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steven Murphree.