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Another question for Jennifer about pain after filling

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Old 07-01-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
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elreif HB User
Unhappy Another question for Jennifer about pain after filling

I apologize for posting very similar content twice, but I realized my other posting would likely be lost in the the other thread so here it goes:

About three weeks ago, I had three cavities filled. 1 in the left side of my upper jaw, and two next to each other in the left side of my lower jaw. Suffice it to say that the doctor who did it was an idiot. Despite one of the lower cavities being quite deep, she did not put enough insulation and my nerve got pounded for 9 days. Finally, I was seen by her superior, he removed the fillings, placed insulation and replaced new fillings. This procedure was very painful and I was sure it would do the trick, but it hasn't. The doctor prescribed ibuprofen 800 mgs to handle the pain. That worked (and still does) until the effect of the medicine goes away.

I went back a couple of days later because of pain and one of the fillings was high and he fixed it and said this might be causing the pain. I went back again a couple of days after that because the pain was still there, and he placed something using some sort of gun which made a couple of beeping sounds. He told me this would help calm the pain while the nerve heals. Now I was really sure this would do the trick, but it hasn't either.

Since the time the head doctor put the fillings I guess I have improved. At that point I took ibuprofen every 6 hours, and now I manage to wait 8 hours. When I wake up in the morning I have no pain and can usually wait 2 - 3 hours after waking up to take ibuprofen for a total of 10 - 11 hours without medication. But at some point the pain comes back with a vengeance. It mostly hurts in my left jaw and spreads to my brain, to the inner side of my front teeth, almost everywhere on that side of my face. When the pain is a little mild (due to the effects of the ibuprofen) I can pin point the pain to a spot where the teeth with fillings in my lower jaw meet. But I can't see anything else going on there. It sort of feels like a cut, but I can't see one.

The doctor told me the gums looked fine and tapped my teeth several times and though it hurt, it really did not dramatically increase the pain. As long as I have pain relievers I can wait for a few months until the nerve heals, but if the nerve is dying then I want to fix it, pronto! I have had no bad breath and my gums don't look different, nor is there pus anywhere around. I did suddenly develop a random pain when I swallow (maybe sign of an infection or my nerves playing tricks on me). And it definitely hurts when I drink something cold and sometimes with something hot. I have not taken antibiotics.

Well, I think this is all my story. I apologize for the length, but I am really frustrated. It hurts a whole lot and I really don't know what to do.


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Old 07-02-2006, 06:04 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 148
corricatt HB User
Re: Another question for Jennifer about pain after filling

Why your dentist hasn't scheduled you for Root Canal Therapy?

When lower tooth pain travels into your ear & brain, that's a real good indication that your nerve has died and an abcess is brewing (even though you don't SEE any signs of one). From what you've described.. RCT is the answer.

Good luck

Old 07-02-2006, 10:07 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2006
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elreif HB User
Re: Another question for Jennifer about pain after filling

I imagine you are right, and I will see a new dentist because my previous ones have been terrible. I just have to wait for the long weekend to be over. I have heard that root canals are one of the most painful procedures to go through. Do people have this impression? I have to do, what I have to do, but I have to admit the pain makes me uneasy.

Old 07-02-2006, 10:36 AM   #4
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corricatt HB User
Re: Another question for Jennifer about pain after filling

Generally people speak about root canals as being terribly painful because they were in terrible pain when the needed to have it. In your case, why wait for the pain to get worse?

Some people will have some discomfort after the procedure but it's nothing that OTC pain relievers won't take care of.

Find a dentist that uses digital endodontics. Or even go to an endodontist. You may need to have your current dentist give you a referral (but maybe you can get a little satisfaction letting him know that you would rather see a specialist than him)

Old 07-02-2006, 10:45 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal
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JenniferE HB User
Re: Another question for Jennifer about pain after filling

The nerve is definitely traumatized, but that doesn't mean it has died yet or is dying, especially since cold still bothers it. It's best to let the nerve die on it's own instead of rushing into a root canal procedure. I know it's frustrating and you just want the pain to be gone. It's perfectly understandable. The main thing is to make sure it's known, without a doubt, exactly which tooth is causing the problem. When the nerve has become irritated, it does take some time to heal. The nerve will either heal itself or it will die, but you need to give it some time. The fact that the tooth is causing so much trouble, the pain is off and on, is a good sign that the nerve is still very much alive in it.

You do not want to have root canal treatment until you absolutely have to. The nerve supplies moisture and nutrients to the tooth. A root canal procedure involves removing the pulp tissue (nerve), sterilizing the inside of the tooth, and then filling the inside of the tooth. Once the pulp tissue is gone, the tooth dries out and becomes brittle over time. This is why many dentists recommend having a crown placed on a tooth. This is one of the reasons why it's best to give the nerve a chance to heal and only having the root canal when there is no hope for the nerve.

It is possible that the nerve is dying in the tooth and a root canal will be needed. The pain that travels through your jaw to your ear can mean that an abcess is brewing, but it's not always the case.

Consult with an Endodontist. They can do a variety of tests to determine how alive the nerve still is and whether or not a root canal is needed at this time.

Old 07-02-2006, 06:57 PM   #6
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kellie2 HB User
Re: Another question for Jennifer about pain after filling

I'll tell you something right now - because you are improving, even a little bit, is a good sign that the nerve is healing - if it wasn't, you wouldn't be getting better at all, you'd be getting worse. And you're not, it's ever so slowly getting better. Listen to Jennifer - it was because of her advice to me that I didn't go racing back to my own dentist right after mine was filled and causing me soooo much pain. Mine was spontaneous, would just start hurting for no reason, and it would also wake me up in the night - which was not a good sign - and there were times when I had this pain that felt like it was going right down into the bone, and it would last for half an hour before it would start to ease up. If I took Tylenol or Advil it would go away within ten minutes. But when the pain was there, it was terrible. Oh, I was so sure I was going to lose that tooth, but knock on wood, it has felt 100% better in just the last couple of days, and I have not felt the pain at all (thank-you Jen!). I had mine filled exactly two months ago today and it's just now feeling better so I know it will heal fine, and yours probably will, too. It's not uncommon for a tooth to hurt and be sensitive for as long as a few months after being filled, especially with the amount of trauma yours went through. You had two fillings done on the same tooth in a relatively short period of time - just having ONE deep filling was enough to cause my tooth to hurt like hell for two months. Can you imagine what two fillings will do??? In fact, I'm surprised it's starting to ease up a little this soon, I would think you'd be hurting for a whole lot longer. But from what I have found, a dying nerve will not respond to pain medication - yours does. And if the tooth shows any improvement at all, which yours seems to be slowly doing, that also is a sign that the nerve is healing on it's own and will just take some time. There's another poster on here named Dan who had these symptoms and said his hurt horribly for two months and then got better, so it is pretty common to have pain for quite some time after a deep filling. Your nerve has been traumatized to hell and back so I think we can expect it to be inflammed for awhile. What I also read and found helpful is taking Advil instead of Tylenol or something for the pain, because Advil helps with the inflammation whereas pain medication does not. And I also bought a youth guard to wear at night because I grind my teeth and I think that may have been why I was waking up at night in horrible fact, I think Jennifer suggested this. And funny, the pain at night stopped as soon as I wore the guard on my teeth, so I was causing that particular pain myself. Anyway, give your tooth some time to heal on it's own, which to me appears to be starting to do so, and don't chew on it or expose it to anything sensitive so it can start to settle down. If you start to notice that it's feeling ever so slightly better more and more over time, then you know it's going to be fine.

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