Originally Posted by angelmolly
Hello all....new to this board. I have been having on & off pain when I chew certain things on the one side of my mouth. I am pretty sure it is my main molar, #19. Have been to 2 dentists...the first one sent me to a endodontist to test the tooth but wouldn't you know, that day & for like a week after that..no symptoms!! He said he couldn't find anything wrong (of course x-rays showed nothing either), but said to come back when my symptoms returned. Well then honestly it came back, but I was like, honestly I can live with this, it only hurts sometimes when I chew the right (or wrong) way. So I never went back. Well now I can hardly chew on that side at all, only soft food, so i finally decided to go to a new dentist that does root canals. Well she said she is a conservative dentist (& I really liked her) and that with all my symptoms but the tooth looking fine, that she would just try refilling it first.She said that could solve my problem. Am I wasting my time & $$?? I figure it is cracked & needs a root canal, but I am not going to ask for one!!It is their job to diagnose this. any input?? By the way..she doesn't do root canals on molars, so I would have to go back to the endo anyway.
Your situation is (unfortunately) very common. There are various ways to assess the health of the pulp, but none are foolproof.
You say that it hurts to chew on the tooth. Generally a sharp pain to biting is a sign the tooth may be fractured. If the tooth has a filling in it such a crack usually begins under the filling, so you wouldn't see it. If your dentist removes the filling the fracture may be apparent underneath. It still may not be obvious what the cause of the pain is.
The crack in a vital tooth is usually out and down from the tooth to the gum. If the crack doesn't spread too far under the gumline the tooth can be saved. Not all cracks require root canal treatment, but most will need a crown.
I would probably let my dentist (or the endodontist) remove the filling and take a good look--this obviously isn't getting better, and it will make a determination of what is wrong considerably easier.