Ongoing issues after root canal


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May 19, 2018
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A long post but want to try and explain as best as possible.

Starting at the beginning of October 2017 I developed a constant pain in the left temple area of my head. The pain varied on the pain scale day by day between a 5/10 up to about an 8/10. It was ruining my life and was stopping me from sleeping a lot of the time. I saw a neuroogy consultant and had 2 MRI scans and was tested for Temporal Arteritis (even though I was out of the risk group). The MRI's didn't show anything and the TA tests were negative. My neurologist was at a complete loss as to what was causing my pain. I was near suicidal at one point the pain was so intense and constant.

Fast forward to February. Still having the same issues, still no answers. I register with a new dentist (hadn't seen a dentist in about 8 years and my old practice had closed down). The dentist took xrays and said that there appeared to be a bit of decay under my already filled upper left 1st molar. So he took the old filling out and was shocked to find extensive decay underneath. He removed the decay but it went very deep and he was worried the filling would aggravate my nerves, but tried anyway. Well the filling did aggravate the nerve. The head pain was now joined by extreme tooth pain. So he decided it needed a root canal.

So he did the treatment. He did the whole thing in one session (which I now understand is not usual) and fitted a permanent amalgam filling. After he finished he looked annoyed. He told me that he had never actually done an unsupervised molar root canal before. He told me that he could only find 2 root canals. He was clearly angry at something, and told me that he couldn't do anything more to help me.

Well the root canal was now 9 weeks ago. The tooth still hurts if I touch it (it is no longer sensitive to heat or cold at all, but if I try to chew on my left side and when I brush it aches like a bruise or something).

I was now pretty scared of that dentist. It took me ages to find a new one but 2 weeks ago I went to a new surgery. The new dentist took an xray and said that the other dentist had seemingly left infection at the root tip of the tooth, and he gave me 10 days of Amoxicillin (500mg). He also said that it looks like there is a calcified 3rd root canal in the tooth. I took these and within a few days the head pain that I had had for over 8 months completely vanished! To say this was a relief is an understatement. I finished the coarse of antibiotics and for about 4 days the pain was still gone. However it is now back and slowly increasing again.

I feel completely lost. I don't know what I can do. I feel at the end of my ability to cope with this pain. The new dentist said that it appears that my upper molar roots are very close to my sinus, so extraction could be difficult. He offered to refer me to a private endodontist (I am an NHS patient). I have very little money and I am now wondering, would it be even likely that this tooth could be saved now by a specialist endodontist? Would filling the calcified canal solve this? What on earth happens if I have the tooth removed and end up damaging the sinus?

Then to add further stress, I have been having to chew exclusively on my right side. Now my lower right molar, which is also filled is hurting every now and then when I bite on it. I am so frightened after what has happened with the left upper molar that I don't know whether to get this tooth treated or just ignore the occassional pain.
 
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May 19, 2018
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Long time no update. I have a bit of a decision to make and would love advice.

The tooth is still there. Nearest rearranged appointment with maxillo facial surgeon was for Jan 4th. I booked that back at the beginning of December.

Pain has continued but has not been as severe most of the time, mostly around a 1 or 2/10 just occasional flare ups to around 6/10 usually after brushing.

However since the 18th of December the pain has pretty much vanished. I am still 'aware' of the tooth if that makes sense, and I still cannot eat on that side of my mouth. But I can now brush the tooth with only minor pain.

I'm wondering if the tooth could actually be settling. I'm almost afraid to think/hope that though. I'm in 2 minds whether to delay having it extracted in the hope it could have actually healed now. But part of me is terrified of the pain coming back. I have less than a week to decide. Well realistically I will have to notify them Monday if I decide to delay.

It's never easy it seems. Do I take a chance or just get the thing ripped out once and for all?
 
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Hi AjK I was wondering how you were doing. Perhaps you have been more relaxed because you know that the appointment is coming up. Perhaps before that you were clenching and grinding a lot from stress and because of the appointment coming up that pressure is off. I think that given that you cannot reverse an extraction you should change the appointment to a few more weeks time. It is not worth taking a tooth out if it is finally settling.

I am really pleased that you are finally pain free. It could be that part of the pain was down to the area healing. Given what it's been through it's not surprising it took so long. But like I said you could have been clenching and tense or the tooth has moved slightly into a better position. I really hope it lasts and that you can put this behind you.
 
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Thanks again Busybee. I hope you had a good Christmas.

The only fear I have with cancelling is that the next available date wouldn't be until April, and I'm terrified of the pain coming back
 
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Thanks Christmas was great. :)

If you wait until April what's the worst that could happen that has not already happened? Removing the tooth cannot be reversed so if you have some relief it's really worth waiting to see what happens rather than possibly causing more trauma from an extraction. It's been nearly two weeks and before that your pain was subsiding compared with before. It's a really good sign and the longer you have between pain the more it indicates that the tooth is settling. I'd be interested in what dentists here think of your relief from symptoms.
 
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I decided to go ahead with the extraction, so I turn up at the hospital as planned and...they wouldn't anaesthetise me because I had a respiratory infection. So I have a new appointment for February 15th.

The tooth is hurting a bit again now. Not sure it's because of my chest infection perhaps, but the pain is coming back again.
 
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It has been a very long time since I last posted here. I waited longer to see if there would be any improvement (at the suggestion of the new oral surgeon that I found) and then had a massive panic attack before an appointment to extract the tooth in June. But, I finally had the tooth extracted today.

It was a hard removal (the tooth was very firmly fixed to my bone and the tooth had to be sectioned). I am still bleeding slightly but a very large blood clot has formed (its a huge clot around the size of the actual tooth that was removed).

I am now very nervous of accidentally dislodging the clot since it is so large I am scared of catching it with my tongue or something. The surgeon was cautious because I didn't bleed much at first and he warned me of the signs of dry socket, but also told me that it is less common on upper teeth.

Anyone got any tips on how to keep a very large clot in place?
 

MattKW

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Correctly speaking, the breakdown (not loss) of a blood clot is fibrinolysis. This is a normal part of wound healing over a 2 week initial healing period but in dry sockets it happens too early (~3-4 days post-op) and causes great pain. It is nearly always lower teeth (99%?), after difficult surgical extractions, and in smokers.
 
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It's now 3 weeks post extraction and for the most part it has been fairly pain free. That was until Friday (3 days ago). I woke in the night with a deep throbbing pain. And that pain has not gone since. I've taken ibuprofen and cocodomol which eases the pain a bit.

Its bank holiday here so haven't been able to get in to see a dentist.

The extraction site is mostly covered in nice pink gum tissue now, except one of the root holes which is still quite deep and covered in white tissue.

The pain is mostly up in the cheek area and spreads up to my temple. If I touch the socket it causes the pain to spike.

Anyone know what might be going on? I didn't expect to still have pain 3 weeks after.
 
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That's the thing with root canals and if your roots are like mine... curved with more roots than normal. They can easily miss one or not be able to clean it all out. I had a couple of root canals fail on me and had them extracted. I hope everything works out for you
 
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i'm going through bridgework pain and two cracked teeth are hurting right now. I wish you the best. Dentistry has become too expensive and insurance companies are a scam. I'm going the route my parents and grandparents took and when a tooth goes bad I will extract it and go for a partial or denture. The are were always happy and I'm depressed and in tooth pain????
 
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Hello Winnifred andAJK64
Ive read through a few of your posts and my heart goes out to you two.
Ongoing tooth issues and pain is probably the worst ever.
I feel the fear the AJ feels about the unknown of your teeth and where its all leading to,
We need our teeth so much for not just chewing but for our whole well being.
If my teeth arent calm Im not calm.
I understsan the sensitity when brushing, gums not healing, aching teeth post treatment
Failed root canal you name it.
(and im super diligent with my teeth and have pretty much minimized what i eat because its just not worth it)

I had a questin for you thoguh Winni
How or what determined your root canal? And what caused it to fail and hence extraction?
Were you in pain prior or what is post treatment that didnt work? or infection existing?
Im just curious to know, as ive had one failed root canal that i couldnt bare the pain for more than 2months and had it extracted
So wondering if i end up needing another one if my body is going to reject it just like the previous
or perhaps its failed dentistry meaning they simply missed the roots, didnt fill enough.
Its all a crap shoot.
The dentist on this forum though i truly respect and admire for the support that they give us.

I only wish i could see them i person!
Just reaching out to see how you ladies are doing now and that i totallllly sympathize with what youve been through as im dealing with ongoing issues myself. I also know that this brings on mood challenges because one can only deal with pain so long.

cheers
 
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Update. I am still in some pain after the extraction. Was told that this is due to bruising of my sinus floor and the fact that some of my bone came out with the tooth. If I touch the area near the extraction it feels very achy and bruised, and I definitely cannot eat on that side yet without it hurting. But I am not in anywhere near as much pain as I was with the root canals, and I do wish I had had the extraction earlier than I did. I have been reassured that the pain should go down more over time as the bone heals back properly.
 
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