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Dentistry/expensive root canal and crown work


Hello Dr. Kaufman!
After receiving your reply to a recent question, I know that "You d'Man".

I recently paid $2341 for root canal work on one tooth.The cost includes root canal therapy, crown build up and fusion.
As a retired senior citizen in New Jersey, relying on social security and a small pension for living expenses, that is a lot of money.

So what I want to know is whether I could have saved some money by asking such questions as the following:

1-why bother with all that work, and instead remove the tooth and install a bridge? I have 3 bridges in my mouth, that have held up perfectly for well over 30 years

2-if root canal therapy is the better route, why bother with crown buildup and fusion? Just fill the empty space in the tooth with cement, and top it off with the same material as is used for a filling.

I estimate that I could have saved about half of the amount by using one of these alternatives.
Please let me have your thoughts.



Dear Chris:
Thank you for the compliment. It is nice to be appreciated.
I completely understand your concern.  Dentistry is expensive, and at a certain point one has to worry whether it is "worth it".
Since I know nothing about you or your oral condition, I can only generalize, but I will give you some information that you can use.
First, let's talk about the options of replacing teeth.
Please click on this link:

Since you already spent the time and money for the root canal treatment, you should know that the most recent studies and the American Association of Endodontists (root canal specialists) state that even the "best" root canal treatment requires a proper coronal seal (which means from the top).

As a matter of fact, the studies show that if a permanent seal such as a crown or a final filling is not placed on top of the root canal, the root canal treatment can leak and get reinfected within three weeks.
Your money was not wasted.  Go and get the crown.
Please talk to your dentist about the complete and comprehensive treatment plan and then decide what is the proper course of action.
Best of luck,  


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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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