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Old 06-27-2002, 12:40 PM   #1
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Talking Root Canal Question

Hi, folks! I just had a visit with an Endondtist this morning, for a top left molar that has been aching for a long time now. Sometimes it gets very sensitive to cold drinks; and then other times its not too bad. Right now its a bit achy (has been, all day). The doctor did this ice test on this tooth, and the ones near it. He put ice on several teeth for long periods. I really felt nothing in the one achy tooth. He says that I need two root canals; one on that tooth, and the one next to it. The one next to it hasn't bothered me. He says he thinks the nerves are dead, because they didn't react to the ice. Is this a sure way to know you need a root canal? I always have problems with root canals; long healing times. So I am afraid about getting two root canals done. I know the one tooth probably needs it, as its been pretty much achy, non-stop. The doctor said he can't see anything on the x-rays; but that's not the only way he can tell if a tooth is in trouble...I have to wait to get the root canala; till the 25th of July; as I am getting a bridge put in on the other side of my mouth (upper right) on the 1st of July. I need to be able to chew foods! What happens if a person just leaves dead teeth in their mouth? Just wondering...Deb47

 
Old 06-27-2002, 06:01 PM   #2
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Hi deb47,

If a tooth doesn't react to the cold test at all, it is possible that it is dead (the endodontist can use an electric tester to confirm that and may drill into the tooth without a shot when doing the root canal, the cavity test, to make sure it's dead). Now, if you leave a dead pulp in your mouth, you may be ok for several years, or tomorrow, you may wake up with a very painfull abscess - that's at least what my endodontist said. How long has your tooth been hurting?
I'm still having problems with my root canaled tooth (if you remember from my earlier post). Some days are really bad, some days better; but now, when I touch my palate, it feels uncomfortable. How long were the healing times with your root canals? Any success stories (from listening to people, the claimed success rate of 95% for RCT seems quite exagerated; but then again, maybe the success stories don't have the need to visit dental boards)?
I've made appointments to get a RC on the painful molar on my other side (of course, right now it doesn't ache...). And then, I won't have a side to chew on either
good luck to you, Deb47. Keep in touch.

 
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Old 06-27-2002, 06:04 PM   #3
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As for your second tooth: It is very possible for a nerve to die without any pain - so yes, it could very well be dead. Unfortunately (or fortunately, since at least you didn't have pain while it was dying!).

 
Old 06-27-2002, 06:43 PM   #4
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Hi, Zahn. I'm sorry you're still having problems with that root canaled tooth of yours. That is a curious thing; your palate being sensitive now. When I was young, I never had problems with root canals: in fact, they made the tooth feel better right away. But anymore, its not so. The last tooth I had root canaled bothered me for at least 3 months before it "calmed down". It still will bother me, from time to time. I had an upper tooth pulled, and with that tooth I had two root canals on it; then it was opened twice; then an Apio. After each procedure I would be so hopeful that it would get better; but it never really did; so I know how you're feeling now. I also have had teeth that bother me on and off (like the one I had looked at today). I'll have periods where it'll hurt so much; then it'll get manageable for a while, etc...I hate that. It drives me nuts. The reason I questioned the ice test today was because he put the ice on crowned teeth (both these dead/dying teeth are crowned). I dread getting these root canals done. Even if I get lucky with one of them; the other is surely going to cause me pain. I also have made and cancelled so many dental appointments, because the offending tooth "seemed to be feeling better". Its terrible, what people with bad teeth have to go through! Maybe your tooth now will get better, since you say it does have periods when it appears to feel better. Just hang in there for a while. You might just get lucky; I hope so. Its not really fair; having to suffer so much after a root canal....lets stay in touch; compare horror stories, LOL! Maybe one of us will have a good outcome eventually....Deb47

 
Old 06-27-2002, 07:45 PM   #5
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Deb47, did you ever have a tooth that bothered you on and off that that got better without a root canal? On the web they say that spontaneous pain is a sign of irreversible pulpitis... And the on and off pain drives me nuts too!
BTW, my endo mentioned that the cold test is more difficult on a crowned tooth, so I am not sure.
I am still "young", and these are my first problem teeth. I am not looking forward to the future in that regard.
Hope your bridge will fit well on Monday; I am back at the endo that day.

 
Old 06-28-2002, 09:40 AM   #6
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Hi, Zahn. I have had teeth that bothered me on and off, then eventually got better. I don't understand why...I have a couple of front teeth that have the enamel worn off in the back (I brushed my teeth too hard). These teeth bother me from time to time, but my dentist says they don't look too bad. I had to get two bottom front teeth crowned a few years ago; they had hairline cracks in them (I stupidly used to bite my nails; that probably damaged them). Off and on pain is terrible; it drives me crazy also, for I start worrying and worrying about it. I am dreading getting this bridge on Monday. I hope taking off the crowns on the adjoining teeth doesn't damage the teeth. With my last root canal, it started with my dentist telling me I had a cavity under this crown. He used this vibrating tool to get the crown off (because I stupidly asked if he could try and save the crown). Well, the crown eventually did become loose; and my dentist removed the cavity; filled the hole, and put a new post in it. THEN he tells me I can't use that crown again; as it wasn't properly fitted. I went home so nervous and worried about why I let him use that vibrating tool. But the tooth seemed okay for a few days. then it got sore, and worse and worse. I ended up in so much pain, I didn't sleep for 3 mights. Even breathing gave me horrible pain. After I got the root canal, that tooth was so painful. I called the Endondtist after I got home; telling him I was in so much pain; even before the novicane wore off. So he prescribed me to take an anti-botic and pain pills. That tooth took a long time to calm down; and even now, sometimes it'll start bothering me. But its basically okay now. I had that root canal done last December. It seems to take me months to recover from a root canal. Now I'm nervous about having anything done to my teeth. I have really bad teeth; and its a real drag. I'm sorry you're having to go down this road at a younger age...Maybe you can resolve your problems. Try not to focus on it; put your mind to other things if possible. What frustrates me is that no one else I know has these type of problems with their teeth. They just shake their heads: can't figure it out. A girlfriend laughs at me, for brushing and flossing my teeth so much. It kind of feels like a lost cause...this friend who has no cavities; rarely flosses, and just brushes her teeth lightly. I can't figure it out...she teases me for visiting dental message boards so much. But its hard NOT to think of teeth, when your teeth are bothering you so much...Well, I'll let you know how it goes on Monday....Deb47

 
Old 06-28-2002, 03:20 PM   #7
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Hello guys, This is a neat site. I don't feel like a freak anymore after reading some of these messages. I feel for you Deb and can understand where your coming from. I have root canal problem also. In December 2000 had root canal done on tooth #29 and had crown place on it same day. 3 days later it was hurting. Dentist gave me anitbotic's and it calmed down but never really went away. I went back to dentist about once a month complaining that it had achy feeling and some times a shocking feeling and he just give me more antibotics and take xrays and say he sees nothing wrong and pay $50.00 on your way out please. ha. The root canal and crown was $1,500.00 now $50.00 every time I complain about it. After 9 months it got heat sensitive and so dentist said he would redo root canal at no charge and so we did that and it felt good for week or so then it starts back to achy feeling and sometimes hurting bad. More antibotics. Then after 11 months he sends me to endodontist and she cleans out root canal for 3rd time at charge of $1,000.00 and when she gets done my jaw is swollen and more antibotics, then she cleans it out 2 more times in the following months and finally finishes up root canal. At this time it has been 14 months since root canal was first started. So 3 root canals later it still hurts at times and aches. It has been 18 months now and it still aches and starting to get heat sensitive again and xrays look normal. Endodontist says she can do an apico on it. I go in then she decides it is too risky cause of the # of the tooth being 29 it has nerves around it that could be injuried and desides not to do apico, now she says she can do a intentional replantation. Where they pull the tooth and do a root canal from root end then re insert tooth back in socket but she will not garrenty it will work. Has any one had that done before? I am spending alot of money on this tooth and feel like it is hopeless. Now if I pull it I will have to get a bridge at a cost of $2,000.00.... This is very frustrating for me, dentist says "you feel things ost people don't feel"????? making me feel like I am weird. Well that is my story. I am sitting here with over $2,500.00 worth of work done on one tooth and still same as before it was ever worked on. I feel like nut for wasting money and time and pain on this tooth but when they say don't pull it, it will get better I believe them. Also afraid of having it pulled cause I have never lost a tooth before...... Sorry for long post..

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Sher
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Anterior Cervical Fusion w/donor bone & w/plating C5/6 Done March 6-2003

 
Old 06-28-2002, 04:06 PM   #8
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Jersey girl, how did they test for heat sensitive? I have asked dentist and endo to test for heat and they say there is no such way and can only test with cold...My tooth is heat sensitive when I eat hot foods. Like I said before I have had 3 root canals on this tooth....

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Anterior Cervical Fusion w/donor bone & w/plating C5/6 Done March 6-2003

 
Old 06-28-2002, 04:06 PM   #9
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Hi, Sher. First off, you're not a nut! The fact is, people who don't have these problems with their teeth just do not understand what people like us go through. They don't really understand how it feels, to have pain so much; to have to go through procedure after procedure...I can't tell you what to do with your teeth, Sher; but at some point you have got to give up on that tooth. That's what I had to do with my tooth, anyway. It actually has felt better, since I pulled it. I threw away so much money on that tooth; it was sickening. Its too bad that dentistry hasn't evolved to the pont where a person can go in, and get a real, true diagnosis of what their actual problem is. On this tooth I had pulled, my regular dentist did a root canal. I went back to him a week later, in agony...he tapped the tooth and I about jumped out of the chair. I told him it felt worse than it did before the root canal. He offered no help. I had to see an Endondtist; who charged me $800.00 for a retreat on the root canal (he found an additional canal). Well, one of the canals got damaged; filling material had leaked out into the tooth...that Endondtist opened the tooth up again; tried fixing that canal...then I had an Apio; then later he opened up the tooth again; tried to repair the damage. The Apio cost $1,300. I just finally got fed up with it; and pulled it. I am so nervous about getting a bridge put in on Monday. I envision myself in great pain; for something is bound to go wrong. Please say a prayer for me, anyone reading this. I don't worry about the procedure itself; I just pray nothing will go wrong. Heck, I'd get a root canal, no novicane, if it meant the tooth would actually get better! Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. The main problem is that dentistry isn't really able to diagnose some problems; so they try this or that procedure; and its hit or miss. And every time you get work done on a tooth, it traumatizes the tooth; making chances of recovery less and less. That's my impression of it, anyway. The tooth I had pulled had no cracks in it; but the root tips were broken off. But the doctor who pulled it said this happens often when a tooth is pulled...so I don't know what in heck was wrong with that tooth.
I've had people tell me, "you can't be having pain after a root canal!"; like I'm just being wierd or something. That's the worst feeling in the world. Even my regular dentist shakes his head, when I tell him about things going on with my teeth. It makes me so angry. The tooth I had pulled had all healed up. The bone had grown back and everything. WHY was it still hurting me! I wonder: I have this skin disease called Lichen Planus. Its an auto immune disease. I notice that I never run fevers; even when I'm deathly sick. Maybe my body doesn't heal the way it should. Someone mentioned different associated problems with having lots of dental work done (root canals, Apios), and one problem she mentioned was cysts on the brain. I have a cyst on my brain...it makes me wonder. THEN, when a person is in great pain, they're rarely given pain pills. They just have to suffer it out. Its terrible. Let me know what you decide to do with your tooth. Good luck to you...Deb47

 
Old 06-28-2002, 05:19 PM   #10
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To Sherryelaine, I can relate somewhat to your situation, however my outcome has been more favorable. I had a molar root canaled 7 mo. ago, it was a brutal experience, ended up in the emergency room.Experienced the same symptoms as you, went back numerous time complaining, got the usual "there's nothing wrong" routine, so I decided to stick it out. My symptoms are slowly but surely subsiding to the point where my tooth is no longer an "issue", feels good 99% of the time. I've been told numerous times it may take quite a while for a tooth to settle down, maybe you should give it a chance to heal,I endured months of pressure and varying degrees of pain.I hope the best for you and all of our dental compromised friends.

 
Old 06-28-2002, 06:40 PM   #11
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Deb you mentioned the tooth you had pulled had the root tips broken off. Does that mean they were still in your jaw bone? I have heard of that before on another dental web site and it was recomended having them taken out by and oral surgeon so they can scrap all the root tips and infection left behind.
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Anterior Cervical Fusion w/donor bone & w/plating C5/6 Done March 6-2003

 
Old 06-28-2002, 07:38 PM   #12
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Hello fellow sufferers,

it's a Friday night and here I am checking the dental boards. Depressing, huh?
Sherrelaine (I'm sure I mispelled it), my endodontist (he is quite chatty) says intentional replantation is not a well accepted procedure (especially for molars, where you have multiple roots). Can you imagine them even getting it out in one piece? If you have to pay for that, you might be better off putting the money towards an implant.
The other comment that I have is that in a sense I feel lucky: My problem root canal; my endo offered to redo it for free, and will also do an apico for free, if necessary. The only limit may be time, since it takes forever to get an appointment with him. From hearing your stories, it seems unbelievable to me that you would have to pay for retreatment when a root canal fails due to a dentist's mistake, as in Sherry's case of a 4th canal found by the endodontist, or in Deb47's case of an apicoectomy necessitated by a perforation by the endodontist. That seems absolutely outrageous to me!!!
At any rate, it really feels good to know that other people have experienced the same problems as me. Talk to you later. I wish you all a more or less painless weekend

 
Old 06-28-2002, 07:56 PM   #13
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Uups, sorry, it's actually poor Deb47 who had to pay multiple times for her dentists' mistakes on one tooth!
As for the heat test, I read somewhere on the web that the reason it isn't used very much is because putting too much heat even on a healthy tooth can trigger nerve inflammation and death. But if you feel heat on a root canaled tooth, you have to have nerve tissue left in the tooth (another canal?). ciao.

 
Old 06-28-2002, 09:18 PM   #14
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Sher,

Have you ever heard of the book, The Root Canal Cover-up, written by a retired endodontist, founder of the endodontists association? His name is Dr. George Meining. The book is available from him and I imagine in bookstores as well.

BTW, you can get a removable partial; it won't cut into good teeth, and is cheaper. They even have one-tooth ones that don't go around the whole mouth.
Karen

[This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 06-29-2002).]

 
Old 06-28-2002, 10:08 PM   #15
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Hello, Sherry I feel for you! And please don't think you're the weird one cuz it's not you! It's the dang Dr's who tell us it's us! I been through the same.
I went through so many Dentists over the year.
I had total of 6 teeth pulled over that year. 4 of them from root canal not working and 2 of them I just waned to save $.
The every first tooth i Had a problem was
July 2001. I had pain in my tooth so I went to this Dr and he said NOTHINGS worng. Only had a little decay. He fixed it But pain was still there. after going to him 2 times He FINALLY did a root canal. gave me a New crown... Mind you I paid ALL reg price since I didn't have dental last year.
So that's $1400 right there.
Anyway after the crown I still felt something. This one spot of the crown.
SO I went back and he's like it's prob your gums so here get this mouth wash (RX kind) so I got that.
2 weeks later still pain. he gave me another mouth wash .. I told him I'm in pain so do something. after the 3rd time going back he opens it up and finds that He MISSED A CANAL! after 5 months!
So he did a retreat BUT never got better.
I ended it up going back and got it pulled. the infection was so bad that the tooth POP right out so easy!
The only thing he could tell me is I will give you a credit for that crown when you get a bridge.
WHY would I want to go back to him after all this!? Some people I don't know!
I had 2 Root canals done by an endo but never really worked so I really don't believe in Root canals anymore.
It's not worth the pain and $ for something's that's not 100%. I'm missing 2 upper teeth on each side now so I'm getting partials. I'm 28 but heck for now I rather do that then spending so much $ and go through the pain. Cuz I know later On I can get a bridge if I wanted. But that's prob another stress so forget it..lol
I spent over $4000 from last year to now and nothing to show for!
I could have saved alot of $ if I knew I was going to have them pulled.
All that $ for mouth wash too.
I mean Dentist should know some things up if we have to go in so many times.
we're paying good $ for them to do a good job but ALOT of Dr's are getting away with slopy jobs! And they make us think we're the crazy ones.
I was told once from this lady who worked at this Dr's office... " I WAS ABOUT TO WONDER ABOUT YOU~" It's like HELLO wonder about the Dr you're woring for!
It's unreal.
Good luck to all of you ; )

 
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