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Old 03-14-2004, 04:53 PM   #1
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fairieswearboots HB User
Tooth abcess and root canal

Has anyone had a tooth abcess that hurt so bad that they needed narcotic pain medicine because OTC pain meds were barely taking the edge off the pain? I saw my dentist yesterday and asked for a prescription for stronger pain medicine but he would not give me one. I have been taking 400 mg of Advil every 4 hours and 1,000 mg of Tylenol every 6 hours. I have been in agony for 3 days now and have been on an antibiotic for 48 hours. My dentist told me Tylenol would not help and to not take that much Advil. He told me to take Aleve but I have tried that twice in the past and did not tolerate it. Aleve tears my stomach up. I told him that. I do tolerate Advil but it is not helping very much. I have been seeing this dentist for 13-14 years and this is the 1st time I have ever asked him for something stronger than OTC meds for a dental problem.

He drilled a filling out of a pre-molar yesterday and did some other stuff to it. He said that nerve is dead and I will probably need a root canal. He put a temporary filling in it and told me to call him tomorrow to let him know how I am doing and will decide what to do next. The pre-molar doesn't hurt anymore but the molar next to it is killing me. He said it may be abcessed as well but there is a crown on that molar and the x-rays were inconclusive. He said the pain around the molar may be from pressure from the abcess around the pre-molar and if so, it would subside after 24-48 hours of antibiotics. I am still in agony.

He said I might need a root canal of the pre-molar but it is cracked and he doesn't know how far down the crack goes. If the crack goes all of the way down, he will have to extract the tooth but he will not know until he starts to work on the root canal. He said he would deal with the molar next to this tooth if it was still hurting after he does whatever he ends up doing to the pre-molar. I am not giving him the chance. There are too many uncertainies. I feel like I need to get a 2nd opinion on this but I will not let my dentist proceed with any further procedures knowing that he is so callous about my pain medication needs.

I have never had a root canal and I don't know if there is a lot of pain after a root canal procedure. There sure is a lot of pain now and I might as well quit taking the Advil and Tylenol since I am still in agony anyway. What's the difference? I don't know if Percocet or Vicoden would help much either but you would think he could at least give me a few days worth and see if I get some kind of relief. Are all dentists phobic about prescribing strong pain meds? I am on the verge of writhing on the floor now because of the pain. I haven't been able to sleep or eat very much because of the pain.

I have phone calls to make tomorrow to other dentists before I bother to call him back. At least I have a prescription for antibiotics and have been taking those. Right now I would almost rather be dead than in this kind of pain. I would like to see him in this kind of pain with no relief. Has anyone had pain that bad with a tooth abcess and their regular dentist would not help? It is not like I walked in off the street. Should I see a dentist that specializes in root canals only or would I need a referral 1st? Thanks in advance for any replies. I think it is inhumane to let a patient suffer like this just because you have the power to do so.

 
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Old 03-14-2004, 08:39 PM   #2
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Infogirl06 HB User
Re: Tooth abcess and root canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by fairieswearboots
Has anyone had a tooth abcess that hurt so bad that they needed narcotic pain medicine because OTC pain meds were barely taking the edge off the pain? I saw my dentist yesterday and asked for a prescription for stronger pain medicine but he would not give me one. I have been taking 400 mg of Advil every 4 hours and 1,000 mg of Tylenol every 6 hours. I have been in agony for 3 days now and have been on an antibiotic for 48 hours. My dentist told me Tylenol would not help and to not take that much Advil. He told me to take Aleve but I have tried that twice in the past and did not tolerate it. Aleve tears my stomach up. I told him that. I do tolerate Advil but it is not helping very much. I have been seeing this dentist for 13-14 years and this is the 1st time I have ever asked him for something stronger than OTC meds for a dental problem.

He drilled a filling out of a pre-molar yesterday and did some other stuff to it. He said that nerve is dead and I will probably need a root canal. He put a temporary filling in it and told me to call him tomorrow to let him know how I am doing and will decide what to do next. The pre-molar doesn't hurt anymore but the molar next to it is killing me. He said it may be abcessed as well but there is a crown on that molar and the x-rays were inconclusive. He said the pain around the molar may be from pressure from the abcess around the pre-molar and if so, it would subside after 24-48 hours of antibiotics. I am still in agony.

He said I might need a root canal of the pre-molar but it is cracked and he doesn't know how far down the crack goes. If the crack goes all of the way down, he will have to extract the tooth but he will not know until he starts to work on the root canal. He said he would deal with the molar next to this tooth if it was still hurting after he does whatever he ends up doing to the pre-molar. I am not giving him the chance. There are too many uncertainies. I feel like I need to get a 2nd opinion on this but I will not let my dentist proceed with any further procedures knowing that he is so callous about my pain medication needs.

I have never had a root canal and I don't know if there is a lot of pain after a root canal procedure. There sure is a lot of pain now and I might as well quit taking the Advil and Tylenol since I am still in agony anyway. What's the difference? I don't know if Percocet or Vicoden would help much either but you would think he could at least give me a few days worth and see if I get some kind of relief. Are all dentists phobic about prescribing strong pain meds? I am on the verge of writhing on the floor now because of the pain. I haven't been able to sleep or eat very much because of the pain.

I have phone calls to make tomorrow to other dentists before I bother to call him back. At least I have a prescription for antibiotics and have been taking those. Right now I would almost rather be dead than in this kind of pain. I would like to see him in this kind of pain with no relief. Has anyone had pain that bad with a tooth abcess and their regular dentist would not help? It is not like I walked in off the street. Should I see a dentist that specializes in root canals only or would I need a referral 1st? Thanks in advance for any replies. I think it is inhumane to let a patient suffer like this just because you have the power to do so.
Hi. I'm sorry you're in so much pain. I would just call and make the appt with the endo. I know what you are going through. Few years ago I had the same thing. I got a root canal done from a reg dentist and one didn't work. after the new crown and all I ended up having it pulled. ALL that $ for nothing! And this other Dr did a root canal that made the pain worse then i saw him b4!
I went to the specialist (endo) 2 times but both tooth I had it pulled cuz I couldn't take it anymore. They say it's best to go to the Endo to get a root canal but the one i went to didn't work out. it's not 100%. That's why they make u sign those papers.
Now, I have a tooth pain in my upper tooth it's not bad until I chew on it. My Dr told me it's crackd a little but to wait and see for 2 weeks. If it doesn't get better he'll do a crown. I WAS LIKE WHAT? WAIT?
Can u believe that? I told him I want it done since my trip's coming up but he said wait.
I am changing Dr's. He told me try not to think about it so much!
Go with your gut feeling. cuz it's always the right one. U shouldn't be in this much pain. I can't believe he didn't give you any meds!
My Dr I saw the other day is not much a meds giver. some are tho. They think it's not that bad...
Or we don't need it.
Anyway hang in there and keep us posted.
Infogirl

 
Old 03-14-2004, 10:47 PM   #3
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Ann123 HB User
Re: Tooth abcess and root canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infogirl06
Hi. I'm sorry you're in so much pain. I would just call and make the appt with the endo. I know what you are going through. Few years ago I had the same thing. I got a root canal done from a reg dentist and one didn't work. after the new crown and all I ended up having it pulled. ALL that $ for nothing! And this other Dr did a root canal that made the pain worse then i saw him b4!
I went to the specialist (endo) 2 times but both tooth I had it pulled cuz I couldn't take it anymore. They say it's best to go to the Endo to get a root canal but the one i went to didn't work out. it's not 100%. That's why they make u sign those papers.
Now, I have a tooth pain in my upper tooth it's not bad until I chew on it. My Dr told me it's crackd a little but to wait and see for 2 weeks. If it doesn't get better he'll do a crown. I WAS LIKE WHAT? WAIT?
Can u believe that? I told him I want it done since my trip's coming up but he said wait.
I am changing Dr's. He told me try not to think about it so much!
Go with your gut feeling. cuz it's always the right one. U shouldn't be in this much pain. I can't believe he didn't give you any meds!
My Dr I saw the other day is not much a meds giver. some are tho. They think it's not that bad...
Or we don't need it.
Anyway hang in there and keep us posted.
Infogirl
Endos usually prescribe Vicodin and they should do this procedure anyways.
also- do you have a family doc- he will probably give you vicodin too. Dentists are stingy with pain meds. Something to do with state montoring.

 
Old 03-15-2004, 07:19 PM   #4
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fairieswearboots HB User
Re: Tooth abcess and root canal

Hi Infogirl06 and Ann123,
Thank you so much for your replies. I slept better last night but shortly after getting up and starting to drink my morning coffee, the severe pain returned. At noon I took 800 mg of Advil which is the max dose my husband said I should take every 6 hours. My husband is a pharmacist and has taken that dose himself on rare occasion and dispensed that dose to patients where he works. Shortly after taking the Advil, I started eating a bowl of cereal and suddenly started tasting a very foul taste in my mouth. I couldn't see anything but it felt like mabey some foul puss was draining from the area so mabey the abcess ruptured. I started feeling some relief (sorry about the gross details!).

It has now been 8 hours since I took the Advil. I hate taking that much Advil since I don't tolerate other NSAIDS very well. I am still having pain but it is not so severe now. I also feel like the infection may be in a sinus on the right side of my head. I have been sneezing a lot and having pain and feelings of pressure around the right side of my face and around my right eye. I took 30 mg of Sudafed for the pressure, 25 mg of Benadryl for the sneezing, and 1,000 mg of Tylenol for the pain about an hour ago. It still hurts but is worse around my right eye at this time.

I did make an appointment with an endo but it is 6 weeks away. He is really booked up but they will call if there is an early cancellation. I had to leave a message with the generalized dentist I chose to take over my routine dental care. I did not call my current dentist back today. I want the endo to take care of the root canal but he limits his practice to that specialty only. Once I have an appointment with my new generalized dentist, I will call my current dentist back and see about having my 13-14 years worth of records (of regular dental care) forwarded to my new dentist.

Hopefully, this will all work out better in the long run for me. I live in a big city and my current dentist is a long drive away on the other side of the city. When my husband and I moved, we didn't change our dentist because we liked him. It was OK when we just went 2-3 times a year for our regular check-up and cleanings but I have had increasing problems with my teeth in the past several years and it was getting to be a pain to drive there several times to accomplish completion of a crown placement (I have 3 crowns now).

I do have an internist and it didn't occur to me to give him a call but I believe my dentist should take care of my dental needs including the need for pain meds. I believe that all prescribers of narcotics are monitored so that if a dentist prescribes within acceptable guidelines, there should not be a problem. Anyway, I will keep an eye on this possible sinus involvement and hope the antibiotic I am on will resolve the infection until I can see the endo.

Infogirl, I am sorry about the problems you have had with your root canals. It certainly does get expensive even with dental insurance. I maxed out on my dental insurance last year and had to pay a substantial amount out of pocket. I think my dental insurance has a $1,000 max per year that they will pay out. My medical insurance would be a joke if it was like that. And my dental insurance is very specific about things such as covering root canal work on the same tooth only once every 3 years, etc. so if the 1st dentist screws up, then it is a non-covered expense for me to see another dentist to get it right. For that reason, it does sound like a good idea to let an endo have 1st shot at a root canal. At least they have extra training in that area even though like you said, it is not 100%. I hope you have better luck with a new dentist.

I am so glad I found this dental forum to discuss such things with others who have been through it and can offer some advice and share their experiences. I didn't really know there were so many different dental specialties until I read some threads on this forum and searched some dental websites. I hope I can make some better informed decisions about my dental care. I have been through the ringer with multiple foot surgeries (6 so far) in the past 4 years. I finally found a great foot surgeon and I plan to be much more selective about the health care professionals I choose from now on if possible. My current foot surgeon is the 3rd doctor I've had to try to straighten out my foot problems. I still need at least one more foot surgery (hopefully only one more). I have foot surgery horror stories that are equally as bad as the dental horror stories I have read about on this dental forum. The days of just blindly going with your health care professional's care are long gone. The internet helps a lot. It is a lot easier to do some research on the internet than to go to a medical or dental library (if one is even available nearby) to try to educate yourself about various health problems and recommended treatments.

Anyway, thanks for the replies. The people who post on this forum seem to be a caring group.

 
Old 12-02-2006, 12:54 AM   #5
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Unhappy Re: Tooth abcess and root canal

I've just got to say that I had to check and make sure that I didn't write this thread originally. What you have been through is nearly identical to what I have been through with the tooth abcess.
My problem with the abcess began *after* I got the root canal. But after 3dentist's "second opinions" and 2 Endo's "professional advice," I still deal with the abcess at least once or twice per year.
The horrible reality is, I can't get anyone to do anything at all. I even offered to pay double for a tooth extraction if the dentist would just take the tooth out so that I wouldn't have to worry about another abcess. The problem was relayed that the abcess is just under my sinus cavity and the dentist didn't want to touch the abcess because of the possibility that sinus fluid would leak into my mouth. But truthfully, that would only be a minor inconvenience compared to the agony of the abcess pain. Now I have resorted to holistic home remedies while I think of a way to remove my own tooth (just kidding about the self-extraction)...but you know how I feel, I am sure.

 
Old 12-02-2006, 08:25 PM   #6
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Akie HB User
Re: Tooth abcess and root canal

Jfer,

Wow, I can't believe just because the problematic tooth is close to the sinus cavity, all the dentists you've seen just told you to bear with it and no other options.To me, a recurring tooth abscess means the root canal or the tooth structure has underlying problem, which should need to be taken care sooner rather than later. You don't want to wait until one day the infection spread to you sinus area. Did they ever think about sending you to an Oral surgeon. OS know how to deal with sinus perforation, if that ever occurs and is not really that rare. I suggest you go see one and get an opinion. Good luck.

 
Old 12-04-2006, 05:51 AM   #7
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: Tooth abcess and root canal

An abscessing tooth can be VERY dangerous to keep in your mouth. It sounds like it's time for that tooth to go before you wind up with a systemic infection that can be DEADLY serious.
You gave it your best shot and it didn't work to cure the infection. Treating it over and over with antibiotics to keep it in check is bad medicine.

 
Old 05-14-2010, 06:46 PM   #8
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lynda3751 HB User
Re: Tooth abcess and root canal

I am feeling your pain honestly. I had a root canal for an infection 24 hrs ago and I am in excruciating pain. I have vicodin and am eating it like candy. the pain comes and goes. Get a 2nd opinion, you need to have relief from pain. Your dentist is an idiot and needs to FEEL your pain

 
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