The story starts about 14 years ago when I needed a root canal on a lower bicuspid. Never got the crown done. Fast forward to about four years ago. Dentist reccomended getting a crown and also noticed a small dark area under the tooth that could possibly be an infection.
Yep, I was lazy and let it go. Fast forward to last January. Went in with a new dentist, got x-rays done. The dark area had grown. The dentist and the endodontist he sent me to couldn't figure out what was under the tooth. They finally sent me to an oral surgeon and in five minutes he said it looked like it could be cancer and need to do surgery asap. That made me nervous. I went for a second opinion, out of my own pocket, to a Oral Surgeon that did work for my family in the past. He said the cancer was a ludicrous diagnosis and most likely a small infection from seepage through the root canal. He reccomended I get a root canal asap to fix the old one.
I honestly tried, but my insurance was awful, so I wait until the new year. I went to see a new dentist and the xray showed the spot was much larger (I think). He's a bit concerned and has scheduled an oral surgeon visit tomorrow. I, of course, am a bit concerned. Especially after the 'cancer' word was thrown around last year.
What concerns him is that I have absolutely no pain from this tooth or area. He thought the root canal looked good, but needed a crown. The only pain happens ever so occassionally (twice a year) and only after taking a quick squig of alcohol.
So, to the readers of the board, do you have any thoughts as I move forward tomorrow? I am worried, of course of cancer. I am worried that this is going to be another long process to figure it out.
I'd like to go in, with some thoughts as to what it might be and questions to ask. Also, hopefully to allow me to sleep a little better tonight.
I was reading about infections and abscesses, but too a lay person like me, it seems they are always associated with pain (esp. after years of having it). Maybe it's cancer or a cyst..but can't find much on that..and would I really have no indications years later.
The dentist thought it was an artifact on the xray and wanted to take another. I told him not to bother, as it's been there before.
I had an abscess on a root canal tooth and it never hurt, didn't bother me one bit! It was a front tooth and only showed up on a panoramic x-ray last year, so it could have been there for years. I got a retreatment and just had it x-rayed, the abscess is getting smaller and the endodontist was happy, thinks it might disappear in another year (these things take forever to go away!). If I were you I'd get an apicoectomy done, they open up the gum and scrape away any infection and seal your root. That way they can take a biopsy of whatever is hiding under your tooth. I highly doubt it is cancer, but that way you could be sure! If you do a retreatment, it might go away, as it has for me, but if it does not you still wouldn't know if it is just an infection or cancer. But, as I said, I really doubt it is cancer.
Good luck and let us know how it goes for you!