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Old 08-17-2002, 02:44 PM   #1
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Red face Root Canal Dilemma

Hello! In case you haven't read my previous posts, I am a person with problem teeth (to put it mildly!). I recently had a bridge put in; as I had to get a top molar pulled; the 2nd from the very back on my upper right. Around this period, the adjacent tooth (of the one I had pulled) started acting up. This tooth is crowned. It got pretty painful at times. I went to see my Endondtist about it, even before I had the permanent bridge put on. He told me that tooth is dying...and that the tooth next to it is dead (he did an ice test; said the tooth didn't respond to ice: but that other tooth is also crowned). I am scheduled to get a root canal on this adjacent tooth (to the one I had pulled) this coming Tuesday. The pain in this tooth has gotten better. I now feel a lot of small achiness in it; other times I can't feel it. I am thinking of putting off getting this root canal for a while, as I still am adjusting to this bridge I have now. Is it unwise to let teeth just wait it out? I'm also worried, for me and root canals don't get along very well. I always have pain for a long time afterwards. What should I do? I am worried, unsure about it....Thanks for any help/suggestions anyone might have. Deb47

 
Old 08-17-2002, 03:08 PM   #2
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Hi Deb47,

well, I think the main risk of waiting is that the tooth sooner or later may blow up (abscess) and you might need an emergency root canal. It really is your decision - all I can tell you is what I am doing. As I have been having such a horrible experience with my first root canal (as you may see on my latest post, now it's a clear underfill on one root, and I have no idea whether to get the core/onlay, or bug my endo again - and cancel a restorative appointment with my new prosthodontist), I am putting off the root canal on the other side of my mouth as long as possible (or at least until one side of my mouth is ok). That tooth is also feeling better, but still aches every now and then, probably dying slowly but surely.
I think I would just go with how uncomfortable your bridge feels. I think if at all possible, you want to be able to chew on one side, and who knows how long your root canals will take to heal. Best of luck with your decision, Deb.

 
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Old 08-18-2002, 01:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for your nice reply, Zahn. I really am undecided as to whether to go through with it on Tuesday, or put it off. My bridge isn't exactly hurting. It just feels like its "adjusting". The tooth I probably need the root canal just has a light ache...enough to let me know its "there". I also notice temperature sensitivity sometimes with it. It probably is dying, slow but surely. I just hate the stupid complications with root canals...that's what I fear most. What if I'm wrong: what if the tooth just is aching, because I've had to chew on that side so long; while trying desperately to "save" the adjacent tooth I had to pull, anyway. Maybe doing all my chewing on that side irritated it; and now its slowly "calming down". My regular dentist x-rayed the tooth a couple of times. He can't see anything wrong with it (naturally)I always can feel that tooth; it just isn't driving, blinding pain. Its a bit irritating, though. Maybe I'll go to my appointment, ask the Endondtist what he thinks. I just don't know if I can handle all the complications that might occur, from getting this root canal. This tooth surely/probably will have 4 canals (my adjacent tooth did). My luck, something is going to go haywire, somehow, some way. I get down in the dumps about it, too. WHY can't I be one of the lucky ones, who get a root canal, then it just heals up normally afterwards? I can handle pain...healing pain. But pain that goes on, and on, and on...and of course, dentists always act irritated, when you have to come back with a problem. It drives me crazy! I wonder: would an abcessed tooth that needed a root canal be even less likely to eventually get better? That's what I wonder. Anyway, I wish you all the best, Zahn. Its very frustrating! I'm glad there's a board people like us can go to, and vent on! I'd have been a basket case by now, without it. Deb47

 
Old 08-18-2002, 04:38 PM   #4
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Hi Deb47,

I feel the same way you do - and I am barely through my first root canal.
The tooth is probably dying; spontaneous pain is supposedly always a sign of irreversible pulpitis. The chance for success of a root canal decreases slightly if there is an abscess. Is the endodontist sure that that tooth is the problem maker? If he is, maybe just get it over with, especially if the bridge feels ok.
Good luck with your decision.

 
Old 08-19-2002, 07:29 AM   #5
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Hi Deb47,

I'm in the "get it over with camp," although I'll tell you I'm in the same boat as you right now. I have to keep convincing myself it's the right thing to do. I'm looking at a "preventive" root canal on a molar. No severe pain, but enough to be conscious of the tooth. The worst part is the dragging on and on...and on of the whole mess--and the uncertainty of a "cure." And then there are all the horrible stories about the things root canals can do to your health...eek. I hope you can find some peace soon.

Sim

 
Old 08-19-2002, 01:56 PM   #6
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Hi Zahn and Simmie. I called the Endondtist's office this morning. I talked to the rececptionist...she was very nice. She said the doctor has various ways he can test a tooth; see if its still alive. She said I can come in tomorrow; with no pressure to go ahead with the RC. The tooth is actually feeling okay this afternoon. It feels like I should wait. Maybe it is getting better. If the tooth continues to feel better (like it is now) I will tell the Endondtist I want to wait. For me, getting a RC is the last resort. I need to know I REALLY need one, before I'll go ahead and get one. I suffer too much afterwards, not to be very careful. The last root canal this Endondtist did on me still acts up, and its been months since I had it done. Other people have no problems with RC's: not me. I wonder why I have so much trouble with them...just luck of the draw, I guess....Take care...Deb47

 
Old 08-20-2002, 08:40 PM   #7
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hey deb-Just hope osteomylitis doesn't turn up on your card.It's not as rare as everyone seems to think.Randy

 
Old 08-21-2002, 07:53 AM   #8
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Hi, Randy. I've wondered why I have pain all the time in my gums...and why root canals don't heal for me right...and even now, my bridge is sore. Its mainly where the socket is, in the socket area that feels sore. Another root canal I had months ago still tingles...its not too bad; I can live with it, I guess. I put off doing the two root canals my Endondtist says I need; on my upper left side, for my top and bottom side of my mouth still doesn't feel right. The bridge seems to fit well; it just doesn't "feel right". I am meticulous about flossing under the bridge. This lady at the Endondtist's office yesterday told me I needed to go back to my dentist, and have him "fix" the problem with the bridge; but I'm not sure what the trouble is! It feels like the gum is still inflamed...I know when I get those other two root canals (the Endondtist firmly said I have two dead/dying teeth on my upper right) my life will be hell. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. The gum under the bridge feels achy and numb....but its a low keyed feeling. My Endondtist and I seemed to speak a different language. I was trying to explain things to him, and he kept asking me "what is your complaint?" When I left the examining room, his receptionist told me he was trying to ask me why I felt I needed the root canals...but the way he worded this "what is your complaint" question, I didn't understand him, I guess. He's an excellant Endondtist. He probably was trying to make me realise I needed these two root canals done. I'm just afraid; for nothing heals right in my mouth: even when procedures are done perfectly well. It's not that doctor's ability I worry about: it's ME. When a procedure is done well, and I'm still having pain afterwards...I feel like I'm left out to dry. I just can't figure out what's going on with me...can osteomylitis be treated? Deb47

 
Old 08-21-2002, 12:22 PM   #9
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I can totally relate to your root canal problems. Hang in there.
Jazzlady60

 
Old 08-21-2002, 01:23 PM   #10
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Deb,
I feel badly for you. I know exactly what your going through...after having six root canals with one that failed and had to have it pulled six months ago, I can total relate to all these dental problems. It consumes my mind.........ugh
Hang in there...there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 
Old 08-23-2002, 09:56 PM   #11
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Hey deb-See your md and demand a nuclear scan.Osteo can be treated.It just needs to be caught and then it takes 2-6 weeks of IV therapy.check with an infect-disease specialists also.It can save a lot of problems in the long run.Most dentist know knothing about it because it usually does not show on dental x-rays.Best wishes,Randy Home health can do the iv if needed.

 
Old 08-23-2002, 09:59 PM   #12
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Deb- it's hard to pinpoint pain with osteo.It's almost like it will go from one tooth the next and on down the line.When they canal one,pain seems to set in next to it.Randy

 
Old 08-24-2002, 08:19 PM   #13
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Thank you all for your kind thoughts/wishes. That's what people like me are searching for: just some understanding...and to figure out WHY this is happening to them! People with no dental pain just cannot understand. It takes "being there" to understand it, I think. It's all too easy to blow people with dental pain off; like they're just "cranks" or something. WHY would ANYONE want tp just invent dental pain? To me, that wouldn't be how I'd do it, if I just wanted to exaggerate a physical problem. Dental pain is the worst pain there is...especially when it goes on and on. Why would ANY sane person want this problem? I have had so much pain with my teeth over the past several years: I hardly remember when I didn't have this pain! But very recently, my teeth have felt okay. I guess I need two root canals now; but at the moment, my teeth aren't hurting me! I'm so afraid: getting these root canals will mean more pain (knowing my luck). That's why I respond to people with other dental problems: I know how they're feeling! I used to feel I was all alone...so this board does help. Thank you again for the support. Deb47

 
Old 08-25-2002, 06:36 PM   #14
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Deb47, I've been following your situation, but I've been curious about one thing. What kind of practioner has has done all of your previous root canals, a general dentist or an endodontist? I learned the hard way to never let a general do ANYTHING except restorative work.I now have have a dentist who refers out anything that requires specialty treatment.

 
Old 08-26-2002, 06:30 PM   #15
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Dying nerves are funny things. Nerves normally die in stages. The reason they die is because for some reason the bloodflow to the area is comprimised. Imagine putting a rubberband around you finger and tightening it daily. Eventually the finger will die. the same with a tooth. With teeth, sometimes the pain will have peaks and valleys. It will hurt for a few days, eventually go away and come back days to months later. It is all part of the process, so just because it stops hurting, doesn't mean the problem is gone. Telltale symptoms are sore/achy , waking you up in the night and sensitivity to hot things. If you have those symptoms, you most likely need a root canal. Keep in mind if it is an upper tooth (MOLAR/PREMOLAR) and the only symptom is som general achiness, it could actually be sinus problems. If you have had an unsuccessful root canal therapy, I would recommend using a different endodontist. Simply tell your dentist that you would like to try someone else and could he refer you. And just because the tooth isn't abscessed, doesn't mean it doesn't need a root canal. A mistake a lot of people make is waiting until they have a full blown abscess. This makes them harder to treat and usually means an uncomfortable procedure since the infection will counteract the anesthesia!

 
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