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Avatar universal

Large amount of cavites discovered, second opinion?

Well, I finally scheduled a dental visit after a 20 year or so absence from the dentist.  

I also scheduled b/c I was having pain when biting down on hard foods in the upper rear left corner of my mouth.  When the pain started last week, I decided to have a look with a mirror, and I saw a round black speck on the first to last tooth in the upper left side of my mouth.  The black speck was about the circumference of  a round toothpick, and on the biting surface of the tooth. At first I thought it was a piece of food, and trying brushing it off, but no luck.

The pain when biting wasn't severe, but it did have me trying to avoid biting hard in that area.  I called immediately to schedule the appointment with the dentist.

I went in for the appointment, and upon getting there I found out (before any procedures were done) that my dental program wasn't accepted there, ugg.  After getting an estimate of what the visit would cost, I decided to go ahead with the appointment.

The appointment started with x-rays.  Wow, things have changed since I last had been to a dentist!  Every image would show up on a computer screen in front of me almost instantly when the x-ray was taken.  Pretty cool.

Next was the cleaning.  Can't lie, this sucked.  No one to blame but myself for waiting so long for a cleaning.  The hygienist asked if it had been a couple of years since my last cleaning, and I said no, more like over 20.  She was surprised given the amount of years, and lack of build-up (relatively speaking).

After the cleaning was the gum exam.  That went fine.

Next was the dreaded dentist's exam.  It started with the dental assistant taking digital photos of my teeth with this tiny pen looking device with a light.  The dentist came in, asked me some questions, and proceeded with the dental explorer portion of the exam.  I distinctly felt the explorer get stuck while probing some areas (I automatically assumed this to be a cavity based on what I had read).  Here's the funny part, the black thing that originally made me schedule the appointment, popped out during the exam!  He said it could have been a piece of food embedded in the tooth.

After the dental explorer came the reading of the x-rays.  Here is where my jaw dropped.  After looking at all of the e-rays on the computer screen in front of me, he came back with a grand total of 13 cavities!!! Yes that's right, 13.  OMG.  Once again, no one's fault buy my own for not having had a professional cleaning in two decades.

The dentist said on the surface my teeth look great, but most of the cavities were between the teeth.  I do floss, but sporadically, so that could explain it I guess.

My question is this, should I have another dentist evaluate the x-rays?  A couple of the cavities showed up fairly large, bust most were small.  The dentist doesn't think there is any nerve involvement at this point, but says the large cavities should be addressed sooner rather than later.  He drew up a treatment plan of 4 different sessions to fill all of the cavities for a grand total of $3,150...ouch.

I don't know what to do (as far as a second opinion goes), as I'm getting conflicting advice from friends and family.

You opinions would be very welcome.  Has anyone else had an experience like this?

Thanks for your time.

3 Responses
Avatar universal
after 20 years you got off easy. it averages around $160 a year. at least you dont have any serious problems. a root canal and crown for one tooth would cost as much as your entire estimate. if you have insurance you might want a different dentist that accepts it.
176495 tn?1301280412
if you have good credit, try "Care Credit"..check google for how to get a card..that's how I paid $7K for my dentures.  No way could we pay it, even with me working a decent job.  I have to support my adult kids who come first (sarcasm alert)

Jim
878211 tn?1310669719
You may also look into a provider that takes your dental plan.  Your cost will proably be less.  Also, take copies of your x-rays or have your new dentist request them prior to your appointment so they have them when you go in.

It's not uncommon to have cavities between teeth if you don't floss on a regular basis and you are fortunate that they are small.  Get them taken care of before they get worse and you are looking at root canals.
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