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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT



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Question:
About three months ago an endodontist did a root canal in the upper right tooth farthest back in my mouth. It seemed to heal normally with no problems. My regular dentist then proceeded to prepare a crown. Again there were no problems until he inserted the permanent crown, at which point I felt a burning pain in the tooth (I believe he was using heated cement). The pain didn't last very long, so I didn't complain. In subsequent weeks, however, the tooth became quite painful, on and off, sometimes very painful, sometimes just a kind of dull nagging pain, and sometimes no pain at all. I also noticed that when I stuck a fingernail into the bottom of the tooth it was sensitive -- not painful but I could feel something, which doesn't happen at all with any other tooth. When I mentioned all this to my endodontist he suggested that the crown might be high, and I had my dentist adjust it a few weeks ago, but that hasn't helped. Though there are periods of a day or so when it feels normal, the pain keeps coming back and it's affecting my sleep and my nerves generally, and I'm feeling quite upset about it. When I saw the endodontist about this last week, he took an x-ray, saw nothing wrong with the tooth, and made another adjustment of the crown, as he still thinks the pain is caused by occlusion. He is urging me to be patient as he doesn't want to drill into the crown unless absolutely necessary and feels sure there is nothing wrong with his root canal. Could there be a problem with the root canal even though the x-ray looks normal? Is it possible the pain could be caused by the crown being too tight? If the pain persists and the endodontist can't fix the problem, I'm seriously thinking of having this tooth pulled. It's the tooth farthest back in my mouth on the top and is probably not that important. Or is it? ...Visitor from PA

Answer:
Your symptoms are very rare. The only thing I can think of is that the tooth may have an extra, undetected and untreated canal. You may want to consult a different endodontist. It would be a shame after all the time and money spent to have the tooth extracted.

Editorial Staff

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