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Root Canals and Continued Pain
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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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Root Canals and Continued Pain

I've had two root canals done on the teeth on the lower right side of the mouth, the last four teeth on the back. Two teeth have root canals done on them while the other two are used to support the crown. The canals have been done for almost a year now, but one still hurts. One canal is fine, but the other one has been hurting continuously ever since it was done. The pain is usually not sharp, but a constant dull pain. Sometimes the pain becomes more severe and I can't eat with that tooth. I feel that the nerves were not removed completed. I went back to the dentist, she opened up the crown and redid that tooth, but the pain remained. She said the x-ray showed no infection and there isn't any nerve left in that tooth. Later, she put on the permanent crown and told me that if the tooth still hurts, then I need to see a specialist and the specialist told me that he would have to drill the crown open to redo that tooth. I spend $4500 on those two canals. I don't want to destroy them. So should I allow the specialist to do them again? Why is my tooth still hurting? What is a permanent crown look like? Is it necessary to drill the crown if I need to redo the tooth? Should I make my dentist refound the money? Is her technique poor? Please help, thank you.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
I do not know anything about the technique that your dentist uses.As far as getting a refund this is between you and your dentist. If the crowns were done recently and they have to be ruined in redoing the rct then I think it would be appropriate for your dentist to redo them. I think you have no choice in retreating the root canals if you are still in pain.
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
This same thing happened to me 15 years ago-pain after a root canal and dentist said x-rays showed it was done and all was ok.  But later, the dentist had to go into the new crown and redo the root canal.  It was fine and has been ever since. Unfortunately before he redid it-he thought the pain was from the tooth in front of it so he killed a virgin tooth(one that was perfectly healthy) and did a root canal on a healthy tooth. So be sure this is not done to you.  I would go back and have it done again but ask around and find a good dentist.  

I am having my other side (molar) done today. My referring dentist said they do not refer patients to the dentist that did my work 15 years ago (so I think he has earned a bad reputation).   Also the virgin tooth done 15 years ago is now weakened and decaying from the root canal(this happens after a root canal) and I am having a crown on that tooth now too.  ALL this costs LOTS more money and dentists will not pay for their mistakes.  SO...make sure you don't let them do a tooth next to it!!!

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Avatar_f_tn
I am having a similar problem with my tooth. Had rct 8 weeks ago. The throbbing terrible pulsating pain left, but a dull ache feeling like it is at the base of the tooth is still there. Hurts to floss or eat on that side. Almost has the feeling of when you were young and a tooth loosened up to be pulled. I have returned twice to the dr and he basically grinds down the tooth so there is not any "occlusions". This is areas that rub or press on other teeth. He said that it is not normal but he has seen it happen a couple of times that it takes the peridontal nerve a while longer to heal maybe even up to six months to become painfree. He, luckily, will not crown this tooth until it is without any discomfort. I am grateful for that bc of the circumstances that you just described. Very expensive, too. We'll see what happens with mine, but I hope you get yours feeling well real soon. Best wishes, tmv
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for your advice. I will try to find a better dentist. I just hope I do find a good one. I have been to several dentists after moving to a new place, but none is good. I miss my first dentist in my old town. He was the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
I hear you, I am in the same boat. Moved here almost 2 years ago. Knew NOBODY. Trial and error or in our case error and error! lol!
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Avatar_n_tn
I would not bother wasting money on another procedure.  I have done it myself and ended up with the same result.  Root canals are imperfect procedures and some people just don't tolerate them as well as others (I am one of them too).  Unfortunately, once your tooth has gotten to the point of needing a root canal there is really no good solution.  You can look for a holistic dentist in your area and get their opinion.  Try (http://greenpeople.org/HolisticDentistry.html). Also, try doing a search (root canals health alternative) and you will get alot of information about the problems of root canals.
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
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