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Pain 10 years post root canal
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Pain 10 years post root canal

My 2nd upper molar on the right side had a root canal and crown put in about 10 years ago. I am now 31 years old. I have TMJ, joint problems with my jaw on the same side. One day last week the tooth started to hurt out of nowhere. The pain was unbearable. I went to the dentist my insurance covers, who is not my preferred dental practice but I have no choice right now.

I was first seen by a dentist who said maybe it was from my bite being off. She didn't see anything on the X-rays. Checked the two adjacent teeth and nothing there. Had me do the bite paper thing and filed the crown down. Said let's wait a few days and see. The next day the pain was once again intolerable so I went back. She said maybe it is fractured or not, she didn't know. So she wrote me an RX for antibiotics. Wouldn't  give me pain killers because I am breastfeeding. I was still in so much pain until the next morning, it had improved quite a bit but still hurt.

The dentist had me see the head of the practice for a second opinion. Second opinion was great the pain is gonna way. It might stay away or it might come back. If it comes back, we do a root canal again or I could have it extracted. next day I met with the oral surgeon, he told me he could go I through the gums and cut off the root tip. 70 percent chance of success. I opted to schedule an extraction. No openings until June 12th! Quoted 1000$ to remove under general. Would I need general?

Here I am not even a week later, two days left of antibiotics and the pain is gone, is it going to come back when I finish them? Was this a fluke? Do I need to get it extracted now, or can I wait? Neither dentist could see any problems with the root on the X-ray. Please help, I am terrified of the dentist to begin with, this whole thing has been a nightmare! Is there any chance the problem has resolved already?

540545_tn?1377626518
If its a fracture on the root or an infection underneath the crown, the antibiotics won't fix the problem.  The tooth would need further treatment which could be an extraction or other surgery such as removing tip of the root.  

If it was a sinus infection that was causing the pain (sometimes a sinus infection can feel like a toothache), then the antibiotics may have taken care of it and the problem may go away.  

I would recommend seeking another opinion on the matter from your preferred dentist since its not hurting you.  

You do not necessarily need to be under general anesthesia to remove that tooth.  It depends on your comfort level with being awake for the procedure.
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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