I have been having throbbing pain on one/two of my teeth. I cannot tell for sure which tooth it is. It seems to be a molar and/or the tooth beside it. It is very sensitive to cold and hot. As well, I have a yucky taste in my mouth. I went to my doctor and he did xrays - everything looks fine. Then he did some sort of test to see if the teeth were alive (a pulp test??). Everything was good. He suggested I have a cleaning because there was some plaque build-up. Well, I went today and had that done. I'm still in pain! The dental hygenist mentioned something about possibly needing a root canal. What exactly is that and how bad is it? Getting work done on my teeth is one of my all-time favourite things to do - NOT! Anyways, my dentist is now gone on holidays for two weeks, so guess I can't do much about it for right now! Any ideas?
I want you to first know that I can totally relate to your problem. This board has been very helpful to me, and I hope that I can be as helpful to you in your time of need. Ill try to keep it short.
I too had perfect teeth (at least thats what im getting here since a root canal is new to you too) and never had anything except an occasional filling and cleaning done. Last Oct. I had two fillings done and little did I know that it would lead to 9 months of hell!
I moved to Alabama and found a new dentist. I kept thinking I had a high spot because thats what it felt like. Long story short, after many trips to the dentist (many dentists) they finally thought there may be a fracture (a small unvisable crack from the filling being done) that was causing my pain when I chewed. My fillings were not really close to the nerve so she didnt think I needed a root canal. I was thankful for that. So she preped it for a crown and said that that should take the pain away. It didnt! It started getting cold sensitive and I still couldnt chew. So she sent me for a root canal. I was pretty scared. At this point, I was worried about anyone trying anything because how could so many dentists not be able to help me all this time. And what if they messed it up even worse? Well, I ended up going and I am so glad I did!
The root canal that I was so worrid about was nothing at all! In fact, I didnt feel a thing and it was over really fast. Even afterward, it didnt hurt, it was just sore. About a week afterward, it was back to normal. I had almost lost all hope, and now Im able to chew on it again.
It sounds like thats what you need. If your having hot and cold sensitivity and its throbbing, I dont see how a dentist could miss that diagnosis! If I were you, I would change dentists and get it done. You want someone that KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING..and more importantly, REALLY CARES! A root canal is simple. Dont worry about it. You will feel so much better afterward. I promose. And they have tests on how to see which tooth it is. You just have to find the right dentits. Ask around for refrences from friends and family. Then make a decision on who to go to.
I was wondering did they ever identify what caused your pain -- was it a crack in the tooth???? Also did they give you the ice/pulp test on it????? I wonder myself what is going on as the dentists are keeping my one potential root canal tooth "under watch". What I have is like a pinching sensation in the tooth which comes and goes not major hot/cold sensitivity.
You are one of the few successful r.c. stories I've read about.
Im begining to realize that your right about me being one of the only successfull root canal stories. My mom has had SO many of them and she doesnt have any health problems. Sure, some of them may have taken awhile to settle down, but nothing further that im aware of.
Anyway, they didnt do a pulp test on me. They did a tap test to make sure it was the right tooth. And it was realy weird too because I had the temp. crown on it and I still could feel high sensitivity from just running my fingernail along the bottom of the crown. They couldnt understand why that was happening. I think it just was slowly dying and I was getting really depressed. Nothing was working. But then came the cold sensitivity (sometimes) and it was getting worse too. They took xrays, but you cant see a fracture on xrays. They pretty much have to go from symptoms. If it was a fracture, two things could have caused my continued pain. One was, since the pain didnt go away when they crowned it, they thought it must have moved up into the pulp of the tooth to still be causing me pain since they drilled away the rest of the tooth and put the crown on and it still wasnt fixed. Therefore by doing a root canal, it would take that pain away. If the root canal didnt work (but they were confident it would) then it could be that the fracture worked its way up to the top of the tooth. And this could be possible since it had 8 months plus to allow it to.
How it was explained to me was that even though they remove the nerves on the inside, you still have nerves surrounding the outside of the root in the gums, so that would still cause pain if it did go that high. I was really praying that that would not be the case because it was really getting to me.
If your confident in your dentist, I suggest you write down all your concerns and talk it over with him/her. After all they are the professionals...well SOME of them anyway. If you trust them, then you should trust their opinions. I know thats not always easy, especially when you reading about a lot of negitive experiences. But remember that everyone is different and how our body reacts is different. SO what happens to one of us, may not happen to all of us. Its just like having a baby. We dont all have the same experience. Or how some people have problems with silver fillings and the mercury making them sick. Not all of us have that problem. My boyfriend has so many of them and he is hardly ever sick at all. He's had them for many many years. Yet dentists and patients are torn as to what is best, composite, or silver. Some say composite isnt good either because they are too soft and dont last as long. So what is the answer then? Do we suffer and let our teeth rott out? Or do we atempt to make it better?
Its scary, I know. But it all comes down to making our own decision and what is best for us. And I stayed away from the negitive root canal stories until after it was done. I was worried enough without reading more horror stories.
Good luck. Im sorry this was so long, but I hope it helps some.
Thanks for responding. I have been reading a bit more on root canals - the good and the bad. It's nice to hear someone say it wasn't bad at all! My tooth has been feeling a bit better lately - it doesn't throb constantly and I'm able to go longer than 4 hours between my tylenol. It's still sensitive to cold tho, so I'm very careful when I have water, etc. I'm hoping that once my dentist comes back from holidays he will figure out what needs to be done. I had major surgery 2 months ago and I have to say the pain from my large incision was easier to tolerate than this throbbing! It's amazing how horrible tooth pain can be.
Years ago, I had a very large filling placed in an upper molar. Shortly thereafter, I had my wisdom teeth removed. The pain just would not go away--for months. It was so horrible, I was even sensitive to music that was too loud (I was in college at the time.) Anyway, a few years ago, my dentist wanted to replace that filling--and when he did (middle of the procedure), he discovered the nerve had died and there had been an infection in the tooth and bone. I had to have an emergency root canal at the endodontist the very next day, as my dentist had already started one, but found it too complicated for his skills... so he sent me off to the endo.
Long story shorter, GOING to the endo was nerve-wracking, I was petrified and afraid I'd lose the tooth. BUT, the root canal itself was not a problem at all...a little awkward, since it was way at the back of my mouth, but not painful--really. I worry about the tooth simply because there isn't much tooth left under the crown, but it's not painful.