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Cracked tooth that's had a root canal - pain?

L

leela

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Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
179
Location
Canada
I had a root canal on April 15 on a tooth that was suspected of having a crack - although that has never been confirmed.

After the root canal I was fine. On April 30 I went in to have the temp filling replaced with the permanent filling. Since then I have definetely had some feeling in the vicinity of that tooth. Last night I think I clenched down on the tooth while asleep and the pain of that actually woke me up!!

Is the crown going to fix this? What if the crack is below the gum line? Will the crown still help?

I'm not sure why the pain after the permanent filling but none before. Maybe she did more drilling than the endo did during the root canal and that made the crack worse?

Any feedback would be appreciated.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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6,961
The crown might fix it, it depends where the crack is and how bad it is.

If the crack is below the gum line then the crown is less likely to fix it.

Maybe the new filling is a little high thus causing more pressure on the tooth when you clench?
 
L

leela

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Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
179
Location
Canada
I dunno Gordon, but this tooth has been giving me grief since January.

I'll really be ticked off if I go through all this and it ends up needing to be pulled. 2 fillings + root canal + crown + hours and hours of missed work = probably close to $5000 CAD. If it ends up having to be pulled after all that money, time and aggravation I am not going to be a happy camper.

All that to save one tooth that may not even be able to be saved.

Is there no way to make a diagnosis on a cracked tooth? All I keep getting are "maybes". Maybe this will work, maybe it won't. It doesn't seem right to spend all this time and money on a maybe, but maybe seems to be all the professional advice that I am getting, and it's getting very tiring.

Sorry for the rant. It's been a rough week between my situation and my husbands wisdom teeth mess. Sigh.

I always appreciate your comments Gordon, and my frustration is obviously not directed at you. I am still waiting for a call back from my dental office, and I will certainly be going over all of this with them.

Thanks again.
 
O

olanda

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Apr 20, 2009
Messages
193
from what i've read, it's not always possible to know if a tooth is cracked below the gum line until it's taken out (and then you can see the crack, which you can't always see on x-ray).

it must be really horrible to go through lots of expensive treatment if you still need an extraction at the end but just so you know you're not alone, a dentist i saw recently told me the story of his wife (who was in her thirties when this happened): she had pain from a tooth, they did a root canal then crown, then another root canal and another crown; the tooth still hurt and eventually the dentist had to extract it, bone graft and place an implant. he showed me all the photographs of this too and the implant looked really good!!

so, yes, it can happen that cracked teeth are given lots of treatment and still can't be saved but it's not just the dentists trying to make money - the treatment you're getting is probably the same as they'd give to their families.

good luck and hopefully the crown will solve your problems :)
 
O

olanda

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Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Messages
193
isn't it that they can tell if there's a vertical root fracture (a crack in the root canals) but they still can't actually tell if there's a crack in the 'outer' part of the tooth...
hmmm... i'm not sure but i think i've read that sometimes the only way to know whether or not a tooth is cracked is to extract it...
 
L

leela

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Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
179
Location
Canada
Thanks for all the replies. My dentist told me they would be able to see a crack with an MRI, but they don't do MRI's for teeth. Considering that when it's all said and done, this one tooth is going to have cost me thousands of dollars, I think they should do MRI for teeth!! Someone should come up with a dental MRI. Not that every dentist would be expected to have one, but they should have one at one office that all dentists can share - pay a fee per use or something. But first someone has to actually come up with one.

Honestly - sometimes I still feel like all medical/dental work is still in the dark ages. If it's something simple like a cavity it seems to be able to be definitive about it, but the things that cause the most trouble - like cracks/fractures in teeth, or in the case of my husband's wisdom teeth and possible nerve damage - it seems to be all speculation and guess work and it drive me nuts.

I have an appt. tomorrow to see what's going on. I'm sure I'll get another "maybe" when I ask if the crown will fix this. I think the words "maybe", "perhaps", "might", "possible", "unsure" etc. should be banned from the medical and dental professions.

It would be so refreshing to go into a dentist or doctor with a problem and have them give me a definitive answer on what the problem is and how it needs to be treated, and be reassured that the treatment will absolutely work.

Maybe some people have been fortunate in this area. I guess my husband and I are the unluckiest people out there.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Cracked teeth are a dentist's nightmare, as you have unfortunately found out, there are very few absolute guarantees with them. Most cracks can't be seen that easily even with a microscope, sometimes they really are only visible when you take the damn thing out!

CT scans are being tried for endo, at least in the UK, but they don't always show cracks either, apparently.
 
D

Dentist hater

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Apr 16, 2009
Messages
286
I know how you feel leela, you never get straight answers, i have a tooth that was told needed to come out by emergency dentist and then new dentist said he will do root canal, then decided he couldnt and then put temp filling in untill decide and said its 3/4 out of 10 of saving it so am unsure whats gonna happen, 'maybe' he didnt want you to worry about it untill he knew all the facts after you went through all the treatment and he didnt want to give you false hope. But yeah them words should be banned lol, and they should learn that not everyone likes things hidden from them. And that a maybe is just going to cause a patient distress with worry.
 
L

leela

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Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
179
Location
Canada
Hi dentist hater - I just posted under "Support", but pretty much got the "maybe" answer I had expected. It looks like the tooth is fractured and she is "hoping" (another word that should be banned!!) that a crown will help keep the tooth together. She was a bit more optimistic than the last time and said that "usually" this is the case. She said she only saw one case where the crown didn't help, and in that case the tooth ended up needing to be pulled, and then they saw the vertical fracture once it was out.

Annie - just as an FYI - you can't get an MRI for a tooth in Canada. My dentist said they wouldn't do it even if you were willing to pay for it.
 
L

littlestar88

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Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
454
Location
England
Im guessing they can't be more certain as they don't want to make promises. Anyone watched the episode of Scrubs where JD promises the kid his dad will be home for Christmas? Doctors (and I'm assuming Dentists too) can't make promises!!

Ah Scrubs...the source of most of my medical knowledge!
 
D

Dentist hater

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Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
286
Well leela its good to hear that the dentist is more optimistic this time, at least you have something good to hope for
 
J

jrasero

Junior member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
2
I dunno Gordon, but this tooth has been giving me grief since January.

I'll really be ticked off if I go through all this and it ends up needing to be pulled. 2 fillings + root canal + crown + hours and hours of missed work = probably close to $5000 CAD. If it ends up having to be pulled after all that money, time and aggravation I am not going to be a happy camper.

All that to save one tooth that may not even be able to be saved.

Is there no way to make a diagnosis on a cracked tooth? All I keep getting are "maybes". Maybe this will work, maybe it won't. It doesn't seem right to spend all this time and money on a maybe, but maybe seems to be all the professional advice that I am getting, and it's getting very tiring.

Sorry for the rant. It's been a rough week between my situation and my husbands wisdom teeth mess. Sigh.

I always appreciate your comments Gordon, and my frustration is obviously not directed at you. I am still waiting for a call back from my dental office, and I will certainly be going over all of this with them.

Thanks again.

I feel your struggle. Upper second molar had a filling 8 months ago and was very painful at first. I was told it would go away and it did, but about 3 weeks ago pain came back (sensitivity to hot and cold). Went back to the dentist, took off work and she said just to wait. Went to my uncle who is a DDS and took off time and he opened it up thinking maybe he could just change the filling but found one of roots had been clipped. He started a root canal there but was very hesitant that he could properly do it because the location. Two days later took more time off and went back to hopefully finish the RCT, he said he just didn't feel comfortable doing the procedure. Took the rest of the day off went to the endo thinking this would be the end of my problems when he completed the RCT. He worked on my tooth for 2.5 hours to only say that he doesn't feel comfortable letting me leave since one canal curved inward and he couldn't properly fill it. So spent another hour and a half with a oral surgeon breaking my tooth into pieces.

So In total lost close to three days of work. Fortunately my uncle didn't charge me anything, the endo felt bad and only charged $300, and the oral surgeon charged $425. So in the end $725 just to pull a tooth.

Dentistry does wonders when it works but like any medicine a lot of it is just guessing and hoping something sticks which sucks because if it doesn't we as the patient are left with the bill.
 
S

ScaredyCat22

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
1,344
I feel your struggle. Upper second molar had a filling 8 months ago and was very painful at first. I was told it would go away and it did, but about 3 weeks ago pain came back (sensitivity to hot and cold). Went back to the dentist, took off work and she said just to wait. Went to my uncle who is a DDS and took off time and he opened it up thinking maybe he could just change the filling but found one of roots had been clipped. He started a root canal there but was very hesitant that he could properly do it because the location. Two days later took more time off and went back to hopefully finish the RCT, he said he just didn't feel comfortable doing the procedure. Took the rest of the day off went to the endo thinking this would be the end of my problems when he completed the RCT. He worked on my tooth for 2.5 hours to only say that he doesn't feel comfortable letting me leave since one canal curved inward and he couldn't properly fill it. So spent another hour and a half with a oral surgeon breaking my tooth into pieces.

So In total lost close to three days of work. Fortunately my uncle didn't charge me anything, the endo felt bad and only charged $300, and the oral surgeon charged $425. So in the end $725 just to pull a tooth.

Dentistry does wonders when it works but like any medicine a lot of it is just guessing and hoping something sticks which sucks because if it doesn't we as the patient are left with the bill.
Hi Jrasero, just so you know this post is 6 years old and the person who started it seems not to have posted anything else since 2010 so that may be why you don't get any response from them...
But I'm sorry for what you have been through. I have been through similar except nobody felt bad and gave me a discount so I paid full price on a crown and a root canal and a filling and an extraction all for nothing.
 
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