You are stressing over the number of surfaces and what you need to realize is that the surfaces are somewhat irrelevant in that the true size of the cavity will be known once the dentist removes all of the decay. I can also tell you that teeth that have cavities larger than 3 surfaces will not have much tooth structure left above the gum line once the decay is removed. So depending on the situation, very large fillings are not always the best way to go. Very large fillings tend to fracture because there is so little tooth structure above the gum line to bond the filling to. That's why onlays or crowns which are cemented to the remaining tooth structure are better at protecting teeth in that condition.
Unfortunately, every dentist will come away with their own opinion because of their individual preference and skill level. There is no way for you to know ahead of time who will be the best dentist for you. You have to go with your gut instinct and/or positive referrals to someone in particular.
The cavities that you have cannot be definitively determined by your x-rays or a clinical examination because they may or may not be deeper than anticipated. Meaning when someone has extensive and multiple cavities there may (or may not) be other areas/surfaces of early decay that are not evident until the tooth is cleaned out. I am telling you this not to make you worry more. I'm telling you this so that you stop stressing over the specific surfaces. It could also be that some of the areas are not as deep as they appear on the x-rays. Now wouldn't that be wonderful!!
I personally think you will end up with more problems if you have one visit per month unless multiple teeth were done at each appointment. Can they do quadrant dentistry? Meaning there are 4 quadrants in your mouth... at each appointment have all of the caivites done in one quadrant. At the second appt do all the cavities in that quadrant and so on. Not only will you get the dentistry done quicker, but it will be less anesthetic injections as opposed to doing a tooth here and there and different appointments. The entire quadrant gets numbed up every time you have a filling done. SO why not do as many as possible in that quadrant at the same time? If you had some crowns done, it would take more than 4 appointments but not too many more. Of course you would have to have long appointments and you would have to pay more per visit as well. But you need to know that the longer you wait to have the cavities done, the deeper they will become. So the quadrant option is an important thing for you to consider.
Regarding tooth #29... a sedative filling can be tried only if there is no nerve exposed during the removal of the decay. Though I think you better prepare yourself for the choice of root canal or extraction. This way you won't be making a last minute decision if it comes to that.
Is there any way you could go to a private dental practice rather than a chain or clinic? I'm not a big fan of either of those because it's been my experience (from a dental viewpoint as a chair side assistant) they both tend to be more focused on quantity than quality. But if that is what you need to do, then go with your instinct. You can always change if you are not happy.
Originally Posted by mikel1
I missed 31 as MOD. She thought a crown wasn't needed on any other teeth as I made sure to ask, even mentioning 30, 31 as the first dentist said those would possibly need crowns but something along the lines of most of the tooth structure being there so it wasn't needed.
The second one was a clinic so it would likely just be one appointment per month, I have #29 scheduled for Feb 20th and cleaning for March 3rd as that's the soonest they had, but I can get the work done faster if I went with the initial dentist. I like the second one better, but I'm not sure about waiting so long?
Would you think a sedative filling would work on #29, or is RCT still likely? The biggest difference is #2, which she didn't mention at all, as well as #11. And they both appear to disagree with #3, MO vs L.
Really unsure what to do, I wish I could combine the thoroughness of the one today with the fast appointments of the first one.
edit: Also the first one is a chain dental place, which is what scared me to begin with, as I've heard bad things about chain dentist offices (Bright Now Dental). The second is a clinic, hence the long waits on their appointments.
edit2: Also at the chain dentist, I believe it was the hygienist that went over the fillings, rather than an actual dentist. I'm not sure if he'd be better at it, though? At the clinic, it was the dentist.