A few months ago I got a filling. About 2 months later, part of it chipped out, along with a very little top corner of my tooth. The tooth was okay, and he just put in a nice sized filling to cover the little chip as well, and this time made sure the filling was real secure and done well, had clearance from my bite, etc. However, it's been a few months. Maybe 2 or 3? And it's still sensitive. But, it's only really sensitive to pressure. If I chew gum or something pretty tough, the pressure makes my tooth feel sensitive. Hot and cold don't really have an effect on me.
I just kind of did a test with an ice cube though. My left side (the side with the cavity I'm talking about) DID hurt a bit more than the right side did as far as the level of pain I was in with the ice cube sitting directly on top of the tooth. My mother, who had a root canal a few weeks ago, said the ice cube made her want to jump through the roof it was so painful, so when I stood there in front of her with the ice cube on my tooth and was like, well, it hurts a bit, but nothing terrible, she said ahh you're fine then.
So I wonder, is the reason that my left side hurts a bit more because it STILL is a little sensitive? Or is it a sign my nerve is dead? I'm just wondering why it's still a bit sensitive...
Addressing the sensitivity at the end of your post...I would ring the dentist. They may want to make sure your filling isn't too high. I know they do pressure tests--I had it done to a sensitive molar with a deep filling, but in my case it was temperature not pressure that induced discomfort.
My filling isn't too high. That was the problem the first time. The second time around, he made extra sure I had clearance. And my bite is completely flush. As I said, the only time I feel the sensitivity from biting down is when I'm chewing on something relatively hard or gummy, like gum or certain meats. Biting down with nothing in my mouth, I just feel nothing. So that's not the issue here.
I had that problem with a couple of molars and it was from deep fillings that just didn't give against certain substances. Every once in a while I would hit something like the tinest bit of bone in ground beef--it was quick, sharp and hurt like heck. I eventually had both of those teeth crowned and haven't had a problem since.
The last one I had is the one I was referring to with temperature issue. I developed the sensitivity to temperature after numerous painful bites over a period of years.
You may have a hairline fracture inside of your tooth and that would make it pressure sensitive. A root canal may or may not help that. You could also have a crack on the outside of the tooth, in which case the pressure sensitivity probably will not get any worse. The third scenario is that the pulp has died inside the tooth and you could need a root canal, especially if you develop an abscess. Maybe you should go to a root canal specialist if your dentist would refer you to one. Or if it's not that bad, I wouldn't worry about it and just have your dentist check it when you go in for cleanings.
I have a cleaning in another month, so I'll say something then. I don't believe the tooth is cracked, because only the top little tip of it chipped off, and that part of it was connected to the filling that fell out, so it's not like I have a split going down to the gums. Plus the tooth is solid as hell and when I try my best to move it around with my fingers, it's solid and I feel nothing. It's only when there's pressure on the center, where the filling is.
If I'd get a cap put on, would I need to have a root canal done first? It seems like everytime I hear about caps, it's always done after a root canal.
No, you don't always have to have a root canal before you get a crown. My dentist is very conservative and didn't do my last crown until it absolutely needed it which I believe was at the point I got a hairline fracture. The other crown I have was done after a root canal (I developed an abcess). It will depend on your specific situation.
I think xrays, if it's time for you to get them again will reveal any problem not visible to the naked eye.
I'll try to answer your question the best I can with my limited knowledge. This is from my experience of getting two molars crowned. Before you get a crown the dentist does an impression of the tooth. The idea is to top the tooth with (I believe a type of ceramic, there is gold as well) material. I liken the preparation of the tooth to getting a filling but more drilling as the surface is shaped. The tooth is initially fitted with a temporary crown, the impression sent to a lab where they create the artifical tooth. Sometimes, and it hasn't happend to me, people have too little tooth and so the dentist has to "build it up" which is an additional charge. Once the crown comes back from the lab, the dentist pops off the temporary crown and fits the permanent one which doesn't always require an anesthetic. I have had great luck and no problems with the two I have. The oldest one is at least 15 years old. One thing crown wearers should know and aren't always told, is you should be sure to clean the gum line around your crown.
A root canal is the actual procedure done. You will need Xrays to see if a root canal is needed from seeing the dead pulp tissue aka nerves.
When you go for your cleaning, they should Xray you and they can see right there if this is the problem.
The above poster was correct with the Crown explanations. Crowns can be used to build up a tooth damaged from decay, but not damaged to the point of needing the root canal.
Your sensitivity might just be that, sensitivity. Some people have it while others don't.
I am now a dental expert, as I have had over 3K in work done in my mouth (ok so this is counting what insurance paid) of which included 2 root canals, build ups and crowns for those teeth all with in 6 months.
I also love my dentist. I was in more pain before any office visit. I actually fell asleep in the chair he was that good! It is all about being numbed up and of course, the valium helped me!
A lot of people approach risk as if it's the enemy when it's really fortune's accomplice.