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FAQ:  Pain: Teeth - Molars


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Pain Molars Ask The Dentist Ara Nazarian Question:
Tooth issue for 5+ years: My tooth issue started in 2004.

The same tooth has had a filling, bite adjustment, crown, root canal, wisdom tooth next to it pulled, night guard fitted, and finally it was pulled.

I still have pain in the area (upper right back molar). Now the tooth is gone and the feeling is more of a burning and sometimes an ache in the whole upper left area. Three months ago I saw a dentist who xrayed and said it looks like I may have bone loss.

I saw a jaw specialist this month who looked at me and my xray, measured my jaw, and said it was just pain that would go away eventually. He did not take xrays.

This is driving me nuts! The pain is a 2-3 on a scale of 10 but it's annoying. ...Visitor from CA

Answer:
There is a good chance that root tips were left behind when the tooth was extracted. Unfortunately, standard dental xrays do a poor job of revealing this type of "left behind tissue".

Cone beam catscans do a superb job of revealing situations like this. Since the imagery is 3D and can be rotated... a sharp ctscan diagnostician will "see" the root tips, if they are indeed there.

Periodontists and reconstructive dentists are a good source for getting the diagnostic study you need.

If, on the other hand, you have pain in the jaw joint specifically, or near the ear that radiates into the area, you may have an occlusal issue caused by the change in bite related to the loss of two molar area teeth.

A dentist with substantial experience in diagnosing and successfully treating occlusal disorders would be a good resource for a consultation. 15+ years experience would be a good place to start.

A Nazarian, DDS

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