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  • root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

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    Old 09-01-2013, 04:44 PM   #16
    sadie682
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Just an update, and wondering how kambuh and Jocelyn's teeth are. Since Jocelyn has not posted, I am going to assume her retreatment was successful? My tooth is the same or worse, and am trying to convince my dentist that the extraction is necessary and appropriate. I wish there was some way to fix or cure this tooth, but it hasn't been the case in almost ten months, and I can no longer rationalize this pain as acceptable in order to try to "save" the tooth. Would be interested in hearing from anyone who has gone through this. I am looking to have this extraction performed ASAP.

     
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    Old 09-02-2013, 07:55 AM   #17
    Jocelyn277
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Hi Sadie!

    Sorry I didn't get back on here to give an update. I had the first step of retreatment about 3 weeks ago (mid August) by the second endodontist. He found bacteria inside of all the canals and felt that is why the tooth (periodontal ligament) was staying inflamed and not healing properly. It could have been due to an improper seal during the first root canal procedure.

    The tooth has good days and bad days now. It does seem to be getting better, albeit very very slowly. But it is still painful, and some days are better than others. It still follows the pattern of being almost fine in the morning and feeling worse throughout the day. I'm now wondering if I may have some sort of TMJ issue that is contributing.

    One thing I've noticed since the retreatment is it's feeling "high," meaning when I put my teeth all together I get a zing of pain as it's touching the opposing tooth. So that could be why it's still feeling sore. I need to go in and get it shaved down and see if that corrects the problem.

    I have an appt with him in a couple weeks to assess, and he may make me wait longer until the final filling if it's not feeling 100%, I'm not sure yet.
    Like you, he said there were no root fractures and he also found no additional canals (he had the microscope and did the 3d scan).

    I'll definitely keep you updated on the progress. I wish your tooth would finally feel better.

     
    Old 09-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #18
    ElleL
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    I am having the same problem as you ladies... Achey tooth 2 months post root canal & endo says give it time. He says no infection present & pain & inability to chew on the tooth is due to inflamed ligament. My tooth had small cracks which he saw. He thought the root canal would work despite these small cracks. The tooth was not split & I had only mild pain occasionally before the root canal. The endodontist is very experienced & resoected. Please keep me posted on how you are both doing. This is so annoying & frustrating!

     
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    Old 09-05-2013, 03:15 PM   #19
    ElleL
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Btw I don't have the crown yet. The endo put a special filling in that should be ok for a couple of months to see if tooth settles. I never had a pain free day since the root canal, although it feels less painful now. However, I still cannot use the tooth & chew on one side. I will see my general dentist next week to discuss. he may want to remove the filling to look around himself, as he told me on the phone.

     
    Old 09-09-2013, 06:09 AM   #20
    Aria129
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    I just had to respond. I am new to this board, but what each of you has been experiencing is exactly what I went through more than a year ago.

    Three attempts at a root canal on a back lower molar, there was a hidden fourth root, and the infection would not clear. The abscess was large and so painful. Finally after months of pain, multiple visits to the dentist and endo, months of antibiotics, I had the tooth pulled. But the problem didn't stop. The infection still would not clear and then another dental surgeon had to open up the jaw where the tooth had been and clean out the infection. I am now onto more dental nightmares which I will post separately.

    What I have learned is that the endos really don't know whether there is a crack unless they do a CT scan and open up your gum and examine the root with a super microscope. Cracks often don't show on X-rays unless the sides of the crack have pulled apart and they can see the abscess and the crack together. The other thing that can create a lot of pain that doesn't show up on X-rays is root reabsorption.

    You all have my full sympathy. Dental pain is just the worst and really impairs one's life and ability to work. I have had four dental nightmares in the last two years. I am learning far more about dental issues than I ever wanted to learn.

     
    Old 09-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #21
    sadie682
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Thanks for your post, Aria. So sorry to hear your awful story. I think everyone here probably knows way more about dental procedures than we ever wanted to learn.

    What you said really scares me personally, since I am planning on an extraction as soon as possible. Can you share any advice about what to ask oral surgeon before the extraction that might have helped in your case? I am sure I have an infection in jaw also (basically just because that's what it FEELS like) but nothing except a tiny black spot (which everyone says is inconclusive). Did your oral surgeon debride the socket and take a tissue culture during your extraction? Sorry to get so specific but after a year of this I am trying to avoid any further complications. (Although just to complicate matters further I had an additional RCT on an adjacent tooth last month, which is also not healing. Am now wondeirng if some jawbone infection is causing problems in that tooth as well.) How is it possible that you had three retreatments before they found the fourth canal?

     
    Old 09-12-2013, 11:27 AM   #22
    sadie682
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Hi Jocelyn,

    As you can see in my post below to Aria, I have had no real improvement despite making numerous additional procedures (including making a new temp crown for the tooth and a root canal on the tooth next to it, because they suspected pain from that tooth was causing me to "think" I had pain the tooth that already had been treated. BIG MISTAKE.) Now I have two teeth that both hurt; the newly root-canaled tooth is acting exactly like the first root canal- swollen, cannot bite on it, gum inflamed, etc.

    I have pretty much lost confidence in everyone: dentist, endo, oral surgeon. And I really don't understand why it's so hard for them to determine the cause of these issues, especially since I am obviously not the only person in the world who is suffering with this. It is incredibly frustrating to go to a dentist, endo, whatever, and have them act as if this is the first time they have ever seen anything like this, when I see hundreds of people online asking the same questions!

    I only wish our collective experiences could enlighten us AND our dental professionals and that we could all be spared further pain. In any event, I hope your tooth is getting better!

     
    Old 09-13-2013, 06:23 AM   #23
    ElleL
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Sadie,
    Sorry this ordeal continues for you. I went to dentist this week & he removed temporary filling & replaced with bonded composite filling. He said tooth looked good to him & hopefully will gradually improve. I chew a soft piece of bread but nothing harder than that now. I will need a crown but he says I can wait & see for a few months with his new filling. It feels a little better, but not right for sure. He feels bacteria may still be getting in thru microscopic cracks & causing inflammation. Endo says get the crown, but I prefer to go with dentist & live with the new filling for now, but I am definitely in a holding pattern.
    What does your oral surgeon think? Does he have any possible explanation for your issues? In my case both dentist & endo think extraction rather than retreat is next for me if things don't settle.
    Only saving grace is that my dad had several successful implants that served him well.
    Yes, we sure are getting a run around here & learning too much about teeth!

    Let us know about your decisions & good luck.

     
    Old 09-13-2013, 06:48 AM   #24
    sadie682
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Hi Elle,

    I think your dentist and endo sound pretty on target for your tooth, especially the part about your inflammation being caused by microscopic cracks. I believe that's the case for me as well, though not sure why everyone so reluctant to say. Unfortunately for me, it's been almost a year, and now I have additional problems (TMJ/TMD, second inflamed root canal next to first one- both casued by the first RCT) that have complicated the overall picture both diagnostically and treatment-wise. But I hope your tooth starts to settle down and that you can get a new crown. Start with a temp and wait three or four months before committing to a permanent one. That's what I did, and now, three months in from that, I have a feeling I'll be going the extraction route with at least one of root-canaled teeth. Unfortunately, I have NO idea what to do about the other. Cannot imagine undergoing a retreatment on this tooth, and also cannot imagine pulling two adjacent teeth. Anyway, thanks so much for your reply and definitely keep us posted about your progress. It looks like I'll be around here for a while longer.

     
    Old 09-13-2013, 07:04 AM   #25
    ElleL
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Aria,
    Sorry your nightmare continues. Regarding cracks, I was examined with microscope & told by endo that the cracks were probably not a problem. Dentist said same; with A big caution that cracked tooth syndrome is difficult to diagnose due to microscopic cracks that don't ever show up but can let bacteria in.
    Did you ever have the 3d cone beam dental xray? If my issues continue, I may seek a new practice that offers this. It is new technology, but does expose you to some radiation. My endo does not have this but some do. I think many oral surgeons use it for implants.
    I hope you have found some solutions & let us know what's up.

     
    Old 09-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #26
    ElleL
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    What are the dentist/endo/surgeon recommending about original root canaled tooth now?
    Is anyone recommending a 3 d cone beam xray?
    Have you comsidered getting a 2nd opinion from another group? I know the dentist & specialists usually work together, even if different offices.
    Here's hoping for some solutions soon!

     
    Old 09-13-2013, 12:02 PM   #27
    sadie682
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    I just had the 3d cone beam this week, at the oral surgeon consultation. I guess they are helpful is some cases, but mine didn't show much of anything that the other xrays (regular and panoramic) didn't show. This is my second set of dentists/endodontists, so I am not sure where that leaves me. Also saw a periodontist (and most recently, the oral surgeon, of course).

    The thing is that I can occasionally taste the medicine from the first root canal; it doesn't happen often, but every once in a while i get this brief medicinal taste that I remember from the retreatment (calcium hydroxide?), and also remember thinking I could feel it leaking out slowly afterwards for weeks. It hadn't happened really since then, but last week my dentist took the temporary crown off to see if that would give me some relief and since then, I would say there have been two or three incidents where I had a momentary blitz of dental medicine. This makes me think for sure there is some leakage or a tiny fracture (or fractures). Now I am concerned that a possible infection is spreading to the root canal I had last month.

    What's incredible to me is that here we are on a website where so many people are experiencing similar problems with RCT, yet every variety of dentist I have seen (6 separate individuals) act like my case in unprecedented in the annals of dental medicine. Tooth pain can definitely drive you crazy, but when your dentists doubt or disparage your pain it makes the everything more difficult. I wish I had followed my instinct and had this tooth removed months ago. Now my situation is complicated by additional issues that were most likely brought on by leaving this tooth in my mouth, and I am scared to have the extraction, though I still think it's necessary and prudent to do ASAP. Meanwhile, i'm stuck in painful limbo.

     
    Old 09-13-2013, 01:43 PM   #28
    ElleL
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Wow, Sadie , 6 dental pros, state of the art X-rays, & still suffering. At least my general dentist is acknowledging the microfractures that could be causing my grief. But, he does want me to wait a few months now. I will see how it goes in the next few weeks & then maybe another opinion. He did say that these fractures can be too small to show even on the 3d xray.
    Btw, I am in NY suburbs. One would think I could get better answers in this area!

     
    Old 09-13-2013, 04:27 PM   #29
    sadie682
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    I know, Elle! I'm in NYC, and I have to say I respect and appreciate all the dentists I have seen, just had to get some fresh eyes on the problem after the first 5 months. But it turns out the new dentists are on the same page as the old team: save the tooth at all costs. But the costs have been high (and not just financial): time lost with my family and friends because of the pain, vacations canceled, holidays missed or not enjoyed.The pain is bad but manageable some days, excruciating some days, but generally tends to get worse as the day goes on.

    My first endodontist did in fact see a small fracture below the gumline but claimed it was not causing the problem. Not sure why he would be so certain about that, especially since it took him 3 retreatments to see it. (Although it's possible the fracture was actually caused by all the trauma of the retreatments; they did warn me of that possibility.) But from what I've since read about root canals, they always seem to generate some sort of infection because there's no way to reach all the microcanals in the tooth, and therefore some live tissue is always left behind in the non-vital tooth. I guess it's just that some of these infections manage to work their way out of the root and some are trapped in tooth/jaw. Plus, some people's immune systems take care of them better than others.

    I don't know how much of this applies to my root canal. I do know that the tooth has FELT infected since the first procedure, so I tend to believe that either the microcanals or the microfactures issues are at work here in my case. And maybe in yours as well? I just wish my dentist was less opposed to pulling my tooth. I have always followed professional medical advice, but I also know sometimes it's wrong. I think after ten months, I am going to have to follow my own gut. Maybe I should go out to the suburbs and see a dentist out there!

     
    Old 09-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #30
    Tropic
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    Re: root canal pain 3 months/phantom tooth pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sadie682 View Post
    Just an update, and wondering how kambuh and Jocelyn's teeth are. Since Jocelyn has not posted, I am going to assume her retreatment was successful? My tooth is the same or worse, and am trying to convince my dentist that the extraction is necessary and appropriate. I wish there was some way to fix or cure this tooth, but it hasn't been the case in almost ten months, and I can no longer rationalize this pain as acceptable in order to try to "save" the tooth. Would be interested in hearing from anyone who has gone through this. I am looking to have this extraction performed ASAP.
    Okay, well, since I don't have alot of money to continue to treat my teeth the way you guys are, what I did was find a cheap place that does dentures and I talked with the dentist there. I have had crowns and root canals in many of my teeth and all this treatment was a big blow to my pocket. Having pain in one of my teeth that already has root canal. Since my regular dentist won't extract, I decided on the denture place. He said he saw a little more decay in that tooth and recommended I extract with an oral surgeon. Do you notice that I have not even mentioned the endo, and that's because endos don't pull. I'm pulling. Too much pain and too much money to be messing around all the time with an endo. You can see in the full mouth xray that this particular tooth has really deep fillings. Time to pull and get a partial. No more pain. No implants either. I'm going the old fashion way. It doesn't make sense to have such a diseased tooth in your mouth. It is as if your body is TELLING YOU to remove the tooth, with all the pain going on.

     
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