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Cavity turning into Root Canal Tooth?

J

jweisberg

Junior member
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
2
Hello,

I went to the dentist Saturday for 3 fillings. As he did one he said that, upon closer inspection, the tooth would need a crown and possibly a root canal if the tooth still hurt after the filling. Shouldn't the dentist have noticed the severity of the decay in the first place?

Also, now my jaw on the side that the rotten tooth is is hurting, I can't discern if it is my jaw muscle that is sore or if my tooth that is in need of a root canal. How can I tell the difference?
 
Ihatedentistss

Ihatedentistss

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
164
Location
Somewhere in Georgia
Hi,

I wish I could be of help, but I'm not an expert at all! However, I too have a similar concern. Back in October a dentist did three fillings for me. The teeth had not caused me any pain previously but after he worked on them they hurt, especially the one that he did a tooth colored filling on. That tooth was never right after that, and now it's causing me a lot of pain and I'm probably going to be making an appointment tomorrow and I imagine I'll have to have a root canal...which is outrageous.

I don't like how your dentist is basically saying "oh, so after I charge you for a filling if it doesn't work I'll have to do a root canal". I personally would go see another dentist and get a second opinion, especially if you are not comfortable with the one you're seeing now.

If you are in pain I suggest oragel. I purchased some tonight and it's helping.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,947
Location
The Hague , Holland
Hi jweisberg,

Shouldn't the dentist have noticed the severity of the decay in the first place?
It is very often difficult to decide whether a tooth needs a root canal or just a filling. The reason is that a cavity always effects the nerve (or the pulp as we dentists name it) and causes an inflammation, to some degree. If the inflammation is small we call it a reversable-pulpitis because if we eradicate the cause (the carious) the pulp will heal completely. There is however a certain threshold of inflammation that leads us to an irreversible-pulpitis, meaning that even when the carious is treated the inflammation will stay and increase and the only solution is a root canal treatment (or an extraction).
It is very difficult to determine the degree of the inflammation. We use X-rays and tests but they are only indicative measures. Only if you take a biopsy from the pulp you can really know the degree of inflammation. Adding to that: The severity of the inflammation can increase in reaction to drilling the chemicals of the filling (there are ways to decrease these effects but they are also a factor).
Most dentists, when uncertain about the degree of inflammation, "give a chance" for a filling.

If you the pain gets worsen with extreme cold/warm drinking, it is the tooth. If you palpate your masticatory muscles with your fingers and you feel tenderness (we call it "yrigger-points") than it is the muscles.

all the best
 
FearfulInMA

FearfulInMA

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
2,150
Location
Massachusetts, USA
I don't like how your dentist is basically saying "oh, so after I charge you for a filling if it doesn't work I'll have to do a root canal".
.
I have had a couple of fillings/crowns that have ended up needing RCT. Once I understood about the inflammation that Dr. Daniel described, it made more sense. When this has happened after a filling attempt, the dentist has applied the money I paid for the filling towards to cost of the RCT. In other words, I didn't have to pay for the filling. Best of luck!
 
Ihatedentistss

Ihatedentistss

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
164
Location
Somewhere in Georgia
I have had a couple of fillings/crowns that have ended up needing RCT. Once I understood about the inflammation that Dr. Daniel described, it made more sense. When this has happened after a filling attempt, the dentist has applied the money I paid for the filling towards to cost of the RCT. In other words, I didn't have to pay for the filling. Best of luck!


I'm glad to hear that you didn't have to pay for the filling! I have an absses that's killing me and not even the pain medication I was lucky enough to get has helped. I'll be having a root canal done Tuesday for the first time. Unfortunately, the dentist who did my filling that now needs a root canal got my money and it was way more expensive than the cost of fillings by the dentist I saw recently who so happens to be partnered with that same dentist... It just makes me so mad that this is happening. Nothing I can do though. :(
 
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