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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2005
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    Houston TX
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    Default Root canal questions

    I went to dentist last week for usual stuff and asked about an upper molar that has been bothering me. He said I could have a fracture, but could not be certain with the x-rays as the tooth has a filling in it. He said I might need a root canal and recommended an endodontist. Are there not any other tests/whatever that can get a better idea what is going on with the tooth - short of jumping straight to a root canal? I have never had one before.
    FWIW most all of my teeth hurt - due to Fibro/whatever? Rheumy prescribed Zoloft for Fibro pain - if that is helping me with pain body-wise it is not doing much. I do think it causes my teeth and jaws to be painful. I think this because of having tried Cymbalta - that drug really hurt my teeth - like they were electrified - and also hurt my jaws. Same drug class - so don't know.
    Thoughts? TIA.



  2. #2
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Default

    The root canal I never had:

    A few years back I had an infected pocket near the big molar with an icky filling. You know, the filling you had most of your life, that gets bigger all the time...I was sure I had an infected root and fully made my peace with the fact that the root canal and crown was impending...

    The Xray showed not much of the actual canal which kind of bothered the dentist.

    He cleaned out the infection (which turned out not to be in the root at all, yeah) and I dd not need the root canal after all (the dentist was amazed...I had come in just before he went on vacation and he had given me a referal to the specialist just in case)

    Also, teeth are difficult to diagnose in terms of pain. Toothache are infamous for radiating and those old jokes in the movies where the barber pulls the wrong tooth were actually not far from the truth!

    I usually get those itchy tooth aches when I am having a head cold/sinus thing. Never fails. even if the sinuses are not yet bothering, the tooth is icky...we are having a problem.

    So I am not sure if you had a full Xray done (those are so cool to look at!) and looked at other teeth as causing problems, or maybe you need to see a ear-nose-throat specialist?

    in good and bad, all things are connected.

    (and I never relish the thought of having an old filling drilled out...)

    good luck
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2009
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    5,658

    Default

    See the endodontist - he'll be able to determine if you need the root canal.

    I've had five or six, and they are not that bad - I can sleep through one and I used to be very dentist-phobic.

    You do NOT want to risk an abscess. An abscessed tooth is up there among the Five Worst Kinds of Pain a human can experience. I've had a badly broken hip and that hurt less than an abscess. It is agony - you will want to find someone with a shotgun and beg them to blow off that side of your head. Narcotics will not make even a dent in the pain - all they'll accomplish is that you'll be too loaded to drive yourself to the emergency root canal appointment. I'm about as stoic as anyone with a nervous system can be when it comes to pain, and I freak any time I feel something NQR around my teeth - "oh, no, ABSCESS!"

    The downside of root canals is that they are expensive if you don't have dental insurance.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
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    1,830

    Default

    A deep filling I had finally went bad, resulting in a miserable weekend followed by a root canal.

    The root canal wasn't bad at all, certainly no worse than getting a filling. Only when the tooth no longer hurt did I realize how much I'd been babying it for years. I could sip around ice in my drinks again, eat ice cream without having to hold it on my tongue until it melted, bite into a popsicle, and enjoy other treats I hadn't wanted to eat since I was in my mid-teens. All because this one tooth was no longer bothering me.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2001
    Location
    Pacific NW
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    3,848

    Default

    I rarely have symptoms when I have abcesses, but once the root canal is done and the infection cleared up, I realize that I have been feeling crappy for awhile and now I'm better.

    Upper jaw abcesses can be medically dangerous - there have been cases of the abcess spreading into the brain cavity, so they are something to get looked into.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2008
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    1,569

    Default

    I recently had a root canal, and it wasn't bad at all. I had a terrible abscess-it hurt so bad, I just can't tell you. It got bad over the weekend-on Fri PM/ Sat AM I seriously thought about finding a pair of pliers-it couldn't have hurt worse.

    All of this was my fault, caused by years of neglect. The horses and dogs, of course, have their teeth done like clockwork...

    When the endodontist numbed my jaw, I cried tears of relief.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
    Posts
    7,618

    Default

    I had a root canal done a year and a half ago....sigh, it didnt work. Only solution is to remove the tooth, and I just don't want to!! I loved paying 2k so that it still needs to come out anyway....
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
    Posts
    2,901

    Default

    An endodontist will be able to assess the tooth for a possible root canal better than your non-specialist. True, it might seem as if he has a vested interest in saying you need to undergo his specialty, but if you're not in pain at the moment you could do some research to see if the reccomended guy has a good reputation. Because that upper tooth will not get better by itself (well, it would actually stop hurting but only after a prolonged period of pain and a resulting lack of tooth in that space) and as mentioned above, abscessed teeth are a bitch. Root canal? Nada. Not that I want to do them, but they're nothing compared to an abscessed tooth, which is essentially pure pressure with nowhere to go.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire/Florida
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    2,270

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mroades View Post
    I had a root canal done a year and a half ago....sigh, it didnt work. Only solution is to remove the tooth, and I just don't want to!! I loved paying 2k so that it still needs to come out anyway....
    I don't know if you would be a candidate for this procedure: apicoectomy. I had a few abscesses in a front tooth, had a couple of root canals. Finally my dentist suggested an apicoectomy. He would do it under local anesthesia. I went to the local medical library and read up about it (this was before the internet). No way was I going to be awake. I went to a local oral surgeon. Little needle in the arm, woke up, and the procedure was done. I never had any problems or pain with it again.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_end_surgery



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
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    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
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    Default

    thanks joanne. i will look into that!
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2007
    Location
    VA
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    Default

    I had a root canal 8 years ago. It was painless and uncomplicated, and I haven't had any trouble with it since.

    Good luck!
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch



  12. #12
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    Jan. 28, 2003
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    I have had a bunch of other root canals...they all worked great, but this one tooth...arrghh
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  13. #13
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    Apr. 8, 2010
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    Ocala, FL
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    Default

    I just had one a few months ago. I can drink hot coffee again!! Mine couldn't be seen on an x-ray either, just had an electric shock when I had hot food. I had to wait a year for the pain to be bad enough to figure out which tooth it was. It would never react at the endodontists office. Root canals aren't bad. A lot less painfull than the dental implant I have to get $$$$ to replace a molar with a broken root.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carp View Post
    Only when the tooth no longer hurt did I realize how much I'd been babying it for years. I could sip around ice in my drinks again, eat ice cream without having to hold it on my tongue until it melted, bite into a popsicle, and enjoy other treats I hadn't wanted to eat since I was in my mid-teens. All because this one tooth was no longer bothering me.
    Same! I had no idea. I wasn't in excruciating pain, but like you, i had just had one filling that wasn't doing its job anymore and had relegated me to chewing on one side, extreme hot/cold sensitivity.

    I was terrified of getting the root canal, but it wasn't bad at all. I mean, the shots to numb you are the worst part! I had a temporary crown for about two weeks before my permanent came in. I took a couple of hydrocodone the evening after and early the next day, but other than being nauseous from that, it was, all in all, totally fine.

    You shouldn't be scared... If the endo finds out you need one, you'll feel so, so much better afterward!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Default

    I just had one on Monday and am having another on Tuesday. Neither of my teeth were abcessed or really bothering me, but both had deep cavities that the dentist was afraid would start damaging the nerve in the near future.

    The root canal itself wasn't that bad, except that it took forever, and my jaw got sore from being held open for so long. The big problems for me were the multiple x-rays and impressions for the temporary crown. I have a horrible gag reflex, and those nearly killed me. I'm not looking forward to going through all that again next week.

    I was very sore that night and the next day, but the prescription pain meds took care of that problem pretty quickly.

    I can't get my permanent crowns until May because my insurance has a waiting period on "major" procedures. Blech. Here's hoping the temporary ones hang in for two months.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montanas_Girl View Post
    I just had one on Monday and am having another on Tuesday. Neither of my teeth were abcessed or really bothering me, but both had deep cavities that the dentist was afraid would start damaging the nerve in the near future.

    The root canal itself wasn't that bad, except that it took forever, and my jaw got sore from being held open for so long. The big problems for me were the multiple x-rays and impressions for the temporary crown. I have a horrible gag reflex, and those nearly killed me. I'm not looking forward to going through all that again next week.

    I was very sore that night and the next day, but the prescription pain meds took care of that problem pretty quickly.

    I can't get my permanent crowns until May because my insurance has a waiting period on "major" procedures. Blech. Here's hoping the temporary ones hang in for two months.
    May is almost here, and those temp crowns work pretty darn good!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montanas_Girl View Post
    I can't get my permanent crowns until May because my insurance has a waiting period on "major" procedures. Blech. Here's hoping the temporary ones hang in for two months.
    Just don't eat red licorice fish. Like I did. Nothing quite like feeling a tooth smoothly lift right out of your mouth and finding it embedding in a smiling red piece of candy.



  18. #18
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    Feb. 18, 2001
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    New York, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Just don't eat red licorice fish. Like I did. Nothing quite like feeling a tooth smoothly lift right out of your mouth and finding it embedding in a smiling red piece of candy.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
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    New York, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montanas_Girl View Post
    The big problems for me were the multiple x-rays and impressions for the temporary crown. I have a horrible gag reflex, and those nearly killed me. I'm not looking forward to going through all that again next week.
    Same! My dentist thought it was hilarious.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
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    Ocala, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Just don't eat red licorice fish. Like I did. Nothing quite like feeling a tooth smoothly lift right out of your mouth and finding it embedding in a smiling red piece of candy.



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