Health & Wellness

Dental Cavity not an emergency???

  • Last Updated:
  • May 1st, 2020 8:35 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 10, 2004
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Thornhill

Dental Cavity not an emergency???

Today it's a cavity, tomorrow it's an infection with root canal at 20X the cost. Why dental offices don't treat cavities as emergency? Why should one be denied a $100 filling today and then tomorrow require you to pay $2,000 for a root canal. What scam are dentists running in Canada?
I often use voice typing and rarely read what I had typed...
19 replies
Deal Guru
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Oct 5, 2008
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Toronto
dazz wrote: Today it's a cavity, tomorrow it's an infection with root canal at 20X the cost. Why dental offices don't treat cavities as emergency? Why should one be denied a $100 filling today and then tomorrow require you to pay $2,000 for a root canal. What scam are dentists running in Canada?
why not ask the dentist rather than starting a new thread?

answers-your-dental-questions-during-co ... 2362280/2/
Deal Fanatic
May 14, 2009
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Of course not every cavity is an emergency.
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2017
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New regulations prohibit anything that will aerosolize droplets. So no drill, water spray, suction.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
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West
I would imagine this is likely to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

Cavities develop gradually. It's not like you'll literally need a root canal instead of a filling overnight. That said, there is already a latent period where the cavity has not been detected. I'd imagine decisions will be made heavily off of onset of symptoms, speed of decline, and both visual/medical inspection.

Keep in mind, the precautions are also to protect dentists from COVID-19 as well. I don't think it's fair of us to ask them to put themselves in harm's way for a non-urgent issue.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
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How are dentists running a "scam" when they're required to close down? Second, cavity is most definitely not an emergency. Are you suggesting that valuable PPE that are in short supply be wasted on non-emergency procedures - particularly avoidable procedures? Third, no filling is going to cost $100. Fourth, leaving a cavity untreated for a month or two should not lead to an infection or root canal if practicing good oral hygiene. Fifth, cavities are totally avoidable - you may want brush and floss regularly to avoid further cavities and problems with the current cavity during this lockdown.
Before responding to someone (online or offline) ask yourself: is it true? is it helpful? is it kind? is it necessary? This comes from an old Sufi adage that is so relevant today.
[OP]
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Dec 10, 2004
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Thornhill
hierophant wrote: How are dentists running a "scam" when they're required to close down? Second, cavity is most definitely not an emergency. Are you suggesting that valuable PPE that are in short supply be wasted on non-emergency procedures - particularly avoidable procedures? Third, no filling is going to cost $100. Fourth, leaving a cavity untreated for a month or two should not lead to an infection or root canal if practicing good oral hygiene. Fifth, cavities are totally avoidable - you may want brush and floss regularly to avoid further cavities and problems with the current cavity during this lockdown.
You lost all credibility when you said filling is not going to cost $100. I have a bill from 2016 for 109 for a cavity filling. The rest of what you said is generalization nonsense about how cavities can be avoided and all that - that wasn't the question. A cavity can most definitely cause an infection and it can happen at any time. A regular person cannot judge own cavities and make assumption as "how long you have before it may be too late" and since most doctors are closed and an emergency clinic can take many days to contact you back( a week for a person I know) with no response.
I often use voice typing and rarely read what I had typed...
[OP]
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Dec 10, 2004
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Thornhill
Phonophoresis wrote: I would imagine this is likely to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

Cavities develop gradually. It's not like you'll literally need a root canal instead of a filling overnight. That said, there is already a latent period where the cavity has not been detected. I'd imagine decisions will be made heavily off of onset of symptoms, speed of decline, and both visual/medical inspection.

Keep in mind, the precautions are also to protect dentists from COVID-19 as well. I don't think it's fair of us to ask them to put themselves in harm's way for a non-urgent issue.
The problem is not being able to see anyone to show the severity.
Certainly no one is forcing dentists to work and put themselves in harms way, especially considering the fact most are private businesses and can make their own decisions and I would imagine they would work if given the green light.
I often use voice typing and rarely read what I had typed...
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
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dazz wrote: You lost all credibility when you said filling is not going to cost $100. I have a bill from 2016 for 109 for a cavity filling. The rest of what you said is generalization nonsense about how cavities can be avoided and all that - that wasn't the question. A cavity can most definitely cause an infection and it can happen at any time. A regular person cannot judge own cavities and make assumption as "how long you have before it may be too late" and since most doctors are closed and an emergency clinic can take many days to contact you back( a week for a person I know) with no response.
I agree with you. My insurance ran out and I didn't have money to have a filling although I was told it would turn into an abscess. I took painkillers and waited 3 months. By the time I got back to the dentist, he recommended a root canal right away and gave me antibiotics to prevent sepsis which would kill me. The abscess could have moved through my sinuses into my brain (top molar) if I had waited any longer. I had the root canal - twice - but it was too late to save the tooth. I had to have it surgically removed because it had separated into several pieces. Even if you have to beg your dentist or drive out far far away I recommend you get treatment if having severe pain. My root canal in the GTA cost $3500 and the extraction and sutures cost me just under $2000.
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2008
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Have you thought about DIY, watch a youtube video? Everyone's trying haircuts, might as well try dental work :D
Deal Guru
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Oct 23, 2008
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My wife works in the dental industry and in some cases dentists will not consider a cavity an immediate emergency. A lot of dental offices are closed down as required by the Dental College due to the lack of PPE and being non-essential except in emergencies. Your saliva is aerosols in the dental office so unless the dentist has N95 masks plus gowns plus facial shield and goggles, and maybe even negative pressurized workspace, it ain't going to happen. If it's a major issue, call one of the dental offices still doing emergency dental work.
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Newbie
Apr 15, 2020
1 posts
But when will dentists reopen? Maybe in two weeks a cavity won't turn into a root canal, but three months? Yeah, maybe! We don't even know if it's opening this summer. You're telling people they can wait this long? How would you know?
Personally I agree with OP. Big cavities can definitely turn into a root canal if it's been more than a month or two. It happened to someone in my family. Dentists need to reopen. It's essential care even when it's not 'urgent'. It's our health.
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
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If you have a question you should call your regular dentist for guidance, I am sure your dentist will know of a properly equip'ed clinic that is still open. Your dentist is suppose to be still available at least via phone/email to answer questions/evaluate with regards to emergencies. Or you can try to find a clinic that is still open AND have the proper PPE like full face shields and fitted n95 masks. They'll most likely do the filling or at least temporarily treat it if they deem it severe enough.

The reason for this fiasco is most dentist was not prepared the level of PPE that's currently required. Having staff fitted for n95 and having a stock of n95 respirator/masks was never a requirement in any provinces for dentists. With the possibility of Asymptomatic transmission it makes it more difficult to deal with the possible transmission of diseased aerosol, hence to properly protect all members, everyone has to be treated as contagious.

As for when dentist will be open and back to normal operation, it's anyone's guess at the moment. I would guess we have at least another month to go.

If anyone is interested this is the guideline that most dentists are following.... they're similar through out Canada : https://www.rcdso.org/en-ca/rcdso-membe ... icles/5288
Deal Addict
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Sep 15, 2003
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My dentist just replaced one of my co-workers fillings that broke. His dentist is closed and not equipped to do any work during the current shut down.

My dentists practice is not equipped either. She did the work at a different location.

The best thing to do is call your dentist. I called for my friend. What I was told is that any pain, or issue that could lead to pain is grounds for dental work. I don't have any other info than this.

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