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Dental Pain - Abscess/other?

I am confused about my situation and need help. Best i can do is lay out the facts.

2006 - had filling put in my bottom left molar 2nd from rear. at that time dentist said the filling is pretty close to the nerve and may eventually require root canal.
fastforward to july 2008, went back to dentist due to a few months of sensitivity in the tooth which was getting worse - as opposed to quick hit pain when drinking cold or hot foods, pain was lingering. dentist took X-ray which was negative (i guess meant negative for abscess) and said tooth is sensitive and I could either 1) look into root canal or 2) maybe try sensodine to see if sensitivity clears up or 3) maybe switch out the white filling for a silver filling - maybe the white filling is irratating the nerve. i tried the sensodine and pain went away
october, 2008 - tooth still feels good, no sensitivity and had my routine dental checkup.
thurs Nov.6th - excruciating pain in the tooth in the morning. for the next 3 days had a constant level pain in the tooth and then from time to time throbbing. started taking advil, no help. tooth hurts when i run my finger across the side of tooth above gumline, but not the gum.
monday nov 10 - went into dentist in morning, my usual dentist was busy so i saw an associate of his. no x-ray taken. gave her history and she said likely root canal needed, but we could try the filling replacement approach - so we went that route since a little more conservative. she numbed me up (and upon reflection) i recall that she really jabbed me with the needle on the inside of my jaw. i jumped a bit since it hurt. filling was replaced pretty quickly.
monday afternoon - novachaine stuff wore off and my checkbone is killing me. throbbing so much so i can't tell if my tooth still hurts.
wednesday nov 12 - face still hurts. cheekbone and behind my jar. excruciating. went in to see my PCP. he pressed around and thought it was a TMJ strain caused by having my mouth open when they did filling. no fever or other symptoms. suggested 3 advil every 4 hrs
friday 11am - extreme pain still there. cheekbone itself doesn;t hurt but area between my upper and lower teeth in back of jaw hurts - pain is at times a 10. frozen in my seat at work it hurt so much - can't even think straight. also radiates to my lips and left jawline. and behind my jaw below my ear hurts. my tongue is fine and has never hurt and i have all feeling in it. so i called my dentist and described issues. he thinks his associate who did the filling hit the nerve with the needle and this is nerve pain. he said to take 3 advil and it should resolve in a few days. i said it's already been 4 days - so what does a few days mean - he said in these cases it could be a few days or months. (could i have this extruciating pain for 3 months?)
friday 7pm - from 3-7pm excrutiating pain - occasionally it would let up, but throbs a lot. if i run my finger on the tooth that was the original issue, i get a slight sensitivity but not like the pain last week. pain is definitely not in the tooth anymore - albiet maybe very slightly. called PCP and they prescribed tylenol w/codeine since advil wasn;t helping the throbbing pain. took that and it didn;t help at all.
saturday morning - called dentist and told them it is killing me and asked asked whether i should have an immediate root canal or if this is something different - that is, it is difficult to open my mouth and the pain as described above - i don't want a root canal if that is not going to help. have read online that many root canals are unneeded. dentist agreed that root canal should wait until this pain issue is resolved - he prescribed clindamycin (antibiotic) and percocet
started antibiotic satuday at 1pm. unrelated but thankfully from 1-2pm i had no pain, but at 3pm, started throbbing again - so took a percocet. ths seemed to make me dizzy so i stayed in bed.
saturday night went back to the advil approach since was feeling nausea - is this from percocet or signs of something else?
sunday - slight headache, a little neck pain. still having throbbing pain in jaw - not all the time, but after i had a few bites of hot oatmeal it flared up. then flared with a sip of hot coffee. put icepack on face and this relieved it. now drinking iced coffee. called PCP, they were happy i am on antibiotic and should give it 48 hrs. also suggested to call dentist tomorrow morning which i had planned to do. my concern is i feel i am broderline between this being a dental issue vs a PCP issue. if this is an infection spreading from tooth to face...(though no fever) i don;t want to sit around waiting or go get a root canal if i don;t need one (or dont want to avoid a root canal if i do need one)...so now sitting here with a dull pain in the area in front of my ear - starts throbbing if i press it, lie down flat or eat hot food.

sorry for the long winded history - but thought it would be helpful, Any thoughts appreciated

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