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Going to dentist in 2 hours - what to ask / make sure gets done / tell them not to do?



May 8, 2019
Basically I've had these suspected cracked teeth (#11 and #12) for 15 months, and 3 weeks ago 2 of my upper molars started hurting a bit (they're all just on and off pain). I've already been to 4 different dentists and 1 endodontist for the suspected cracked teeth, and they weren't able to find anything. With COVID going on and everything, what should I be cautious about (including procedures they want me to do today), and what should I ask about, or anything I should be aware of before going into their office today? It's a dentist I've never been to, too, and I've never met the dentist and don't know how anything operates there.

Last year, I got I think 4 bite wing xrays, 1 full pano (is it called CT x-ray?) for wisdom tooth extraction, and another one of my intestines at the beginning of the year (January 2019). This year, I got 2 or 3 bite wing xrays already, but with this kind of condition, should I be cautious of an x-ray or a pano x-ray? Would it be dangerous for me or would it be helpful to do?

I posted about this issue a few times already (so sorry about that but it's giving me huge anxiety), but here's a briefer overview of my condition:

Tooth history: root canal on molar #31 in 2017, braces in ~2013-2016, all 4 wisdom teeth removed (in mid 2019 and early 2020)

Late April 2019 - bit hard on cherry pit, suspected cracked teeth (#11, #12). A bit painful when releasing bite. Visited 2 dentists within 2 weeks, did X-ray, bite test, no obvious signs of crack.

Summer 2019 - visited 2 different dentists - x-ray, bite test, no visible signs of anything, but teeth were sensitive (especially to juice). One dentist used a laser to temporarily help with sensitivity. Told to wait and see.

August 2019 - visited Endodontist, looked at teeth under microscope, x-ray, no visible crack. Did a sensitivity test with extremely cold object, affected teeth felt similar to 2 surrounding teeth, no obvious signs. Recommended Sensodyne toothpaste.

January 2020 - went for annual cleaning, at glance, no obvious signs.

Current symptoms - some soreness in affected area & surrounding teeth, occasional pains coming from affected teeth. Have not eaten on the left side since April 2020. Pain comes and goes (hurts more when accidentally chews on side of affected team), but not unbearable. Potential very mild upper cheek discomfort (may/may not be teeth related) on side of affected teeth. Wearing retainers (after braces removal) almost completely eases the pain/discomfort.

Ideally would not desire root canal treatment (have major anxiety about this, as my first root canal was given to me by a dentist/endodontist without me even needing it. Also was told by multiple people including my endodontist and orthodontist that root canals - especially at my young age - is not good for my health).
Usually cracked tooth syndrome presents as pain on biting or pain on release of biting... If it is a cracked tooth, then the usual treatment is splinting (i.e. doing something that holds the cusps together, such as a filling that covers the cusps or an onlay or crown, depending on the tooth in question). Most cracked teeth don't need root canal treatment (I think I saw a figure of 20% somewhere once, but don't quote me on this, it could be even lower than that).

Did any of the dentists who did the tests actually think that it was cracked tooth syndrome, or something else? You mentioned that one of them thought it was sensitive teeth. If wearing the retainers helps with the pain, then maybe it could be something TMJ or clenching related as well?

Wishing you all the best for your visit - I hope you'll be able to get some answers!
After getting another x-ray, this dentist said there was no clear fracture that can't be seen from the tooth surface. She used some probe tool to knock on my teeth and it felt no different from the normal teeth (she said that was a good sign). She then used some kind of pick tool to probe around the surrounding gums to find any air pockets? or some kind of pocket as she said that most fractures on the inside will cause pockets, but she didn't find any. The x-ray did show that the surrounding tissue could have been a bit inflamed (she said likely from the impact on the tooth), so she ground down some of the enamel to release some pressure and let it rest for 2 weeks and then see if it gets better.

Will keep you all updated and thanks so much for the support - it's just so frustrating to not have a solid solution at 15 months, but hopefully something works out!