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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT



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Question:
Iím 35 and last October 2001, my dentist recommended replacing a 15 year old filling in the molar on the far top left. From October to January, I experienced sever sensitivity to cold when I bit down. He kept making adjustments over the months and told me it could be a mild fracture within the tooth.

He recommended and provided a crown in mid April. After the first week, I started into the most excruciating pain Iíd ever experienced (a 9 on the high end of a pain scale of 10). By May 15, I had an emergency root canal with an endodontist who gave me a temporary crown Ė immediate relief!

After the permanent crown was restored on 5/23, Iíve been feeling some sensitivity of warm pulses of pain thru the tooth and up a straight line to under my left eye. Both the dentist and endodontist noted four nerves were connected to this tooth and they seemed confident that all were removed Ė how can a tooth without a nerve experience any feeling?

My dentist and endodontist tell me that I may have a sinus infection Ė so now Iím a few days into an antibiotic which hasnít changed the pain level (2 on the low end of a pain scale to 10). They also agree that when a tooth goes thru as much trauma as mine, recovery and the crown takes a very, very long time to adjust.
Itís been 5 weeks since the root canal - exactly how long should a patient wait until they give up and have the tooth extracted? Iíve scheduled an appt. with another dentist for a second opinion; this is my first experience with root canals and crowns and I hope this mild pain is not a chronic condition. So far, Iíve been dealing with various levels of this dental problem for eight months. Patricia in IL

Answer:
Patricia, I may be concerned that you have a fractured tooth, or possibly a neighboring tooth that is infected. The sinus problem can be alleviated with something simple like Afrin or Benadryl. Definitely get a second opinion, because your tooth should have felt comfortable a week after the procedure was completed. Go see another endodontist.

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