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How are extractions on a tooth that has a history of not numbing go?

Soma

Soma

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Jan 7, 2012
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Still dealing with a pesky tooth (teeth?) that bother me for weeks at a time, every couple months. I'm in a particularly bad flare up right now with it. I've been through multiple xrays and every kind of test you can do on this tooth with dentist and endos and neurologist, but have had no luck pinning down a reason. Tomorrow I'm calling a different dentist and going to have them have a look. At this point I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for an extraction as I have no interest in keeping this tooth if it is the cause of all these issues for so long. The problem is it has a history of not numbing fully. If for whatever reason the tooth is just wired oddly and refuses to numb, how would a dentist extract it without massive pain? I just don't believe there is any way it to be fully numb because it has never been in the past.

Is my best option being put under to have it removed? It seems overkill but I really don't want to experience scenario that my mind is creating.

I hate teeth. hate them beyond any words in the human language.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi Soma, sorry for your troubles and still hope the dentist tomorrow will be able to find something to save the tooth. I totally get that you are not keen to go through an extraction with a tooth that's not numb and this is no way an option. There must be an option to get a tooth numb, no matter what.

Hope you get an answer from a dentist soon, but in the meantime, here are some information here on the page about the problem of not getting numb:
https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/not-numb/

May I ask which tooth it is and if all the 'not numb' episodes happened with the same dentist?
 
Soma

Soma

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Messages
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Thanks for the reply Enarete.

It's my upper left molar, right next to my wisdom tooth. The first episode of it not being numb go back to when a bad dentist said I had a crack in it, so he used some sort of laser drill to do the filling. It was not a good experience. The tooth took a long time to calm down after that experience, this was maybe about 6 years ago. I had just moved to a new city 4 hours away from my home town, but when the tooth wouldn't settle I drove back home to the only dentist I ever trusted. He took x-rays and said the bad dentist left space between the tooth and the filling, so he re-filled it, again it wouldn't numb, he kept trying trying and got it to a bearable amount of pain. Since then the tooth was fine, up until about a year ago when it started acting up. I've had mutiple x-rays, and seen multiple dentist/endo for it. They say the tooth is alive and responds well, and nothing is showing up on any of the x-rays.

It started hurting this time on the tail end of a bad case of the flu. So I'm not sure if its a sinus issue or what. I'm getting a gross metallic taste near that area and on my tongue, along with all the tmj type issues from my eyes to my chin and neck. No fever, no visible swelling, no unusual sensitivity to hot or cold, I don't even really need to take meds for the pain, I just do sometimes for a little peace of mind to make the sensation go away for a little while.

But yeah, I'm terrified it won't be able to get numb.
 
Soma

Soma

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Messages
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I just got back from the dentist. He poked and tapped and pushed around but didn't take x-rays. The last x-rays that were taken on this spot were done about 8 months ago and he didn't want to do more without feeling the need to. He is very convinced (still) that this is not a dental issue. Since this has been going on for over a year, he said dental infections to stop in to say hello every few months then go away and come back a few months later to say hi again. He said based on the history of the area and the lack of any sort of hints during any of his exams that would make him think infection, he doesn't think it's an infection.

He did however find a "knot" way up in the soft tissue between my cheek and gum. I asked if it could be a dental infection, he said it -could- be but its a very unlikely spot, again noting the lack of exam findings that would point to it being one. He said a dental x-ray won't be able to scan it, so he recommends my next step be going to an ENT. He said the knot could be a blood vessel of some sort, he really doesn't know. He believes my symptoms are sinus in nature and that sinus issues can feel like dental issues in a very convincing way.

I half jokingly asked if he couple rip out the teeth in the area just to process of eliminate, he chucked and said "sorry but not until I'm convinced they are the problem"

So I have mixed feelings about my visit. For piece of mind I would've liked him to do an x-ray, but I do trust his judgement. I am concerned about the knot, unnatural lumps of any kind are not usually a good thing to have in your body.


And the beat goes on.
 
FearfulInMA

FearfulInMA

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Though it sounds like an extraction is not in your near future, I wanted to chime in about having an extraction on a tooth that won’t get numb.

Almost a year ago I was in a similar situation. I had to have a tooth extracted that had previously been nearly impossible to numb. I was terrified because the tooth had to come out and IV sedation is not something I would consider. It turns out, dentists are able to numb a tooth in different ways when they are trying to extract it vs. when they are trying to save the tooth. The dentist who did the extraction was able to get be about 95% numb and that was way better than I expected and it made the extraction tolerable.

If you do end up needing the tooth out, you may want to ask for a referral to an oral surgeon as they are going to have way more experience as well as different techniques for numbing stubborn teeth.
 
Soma

Soma

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Thank you for sharing that FearfulInMA. I will definitely keep all of that in mind, and if it comes to it I will look for an oral surgeon. Though the symptoms have lessened a bit, I still in my heart feel that I am dealing with a dental issue in origin, and not a sinus one. ENT appointment in a couple days, I hope they can scan my face somehow and determine if there is indeed something dental brewing.

The overall gnawing/pressure ache has lessened quite a bit, but my gum line has become super sensitive to cold, heat, chewing. It's all very quick and temporary, a quick *Zing* of on sensitivity and then it goes away pretty much instantly. I have been doing a lot of salt water swishes, oil pulls and probably brushing and flossing the area way more than I should, so I'm hoping its a case of me just aggravating the spot too much lately. I do get extended burning sensation in the area when I take a Q-tip with sensodyne tooth paste and rub it along the gum line. It burns for quite a while, not sure what that means.

Hoping for definitive answers soon so I can try to get back to living my life.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Good luck for your appointment soon, may they find what's going on. Hope your sensitivity will vanish soon. Keep us updated..
 
Soma

Soma

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Jan 7, 2012
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Thanks I will keep you all posted.

I decided to ignore my issues to the best of my abilities for the last 12 hours or so (as opposed me to constantly swishing flossing brushing and stuff) and I was just about to head off to work and decided to just give a little look in my dental mirror and I noticed a white spot on my gum, it was never there before. It's off to the side of my wisdom tooth, one of the teeth in the general area of discomfort. I'm wondering if this looks like an abscess? I flossed the spot after and there was some slight discomfort but no blood or anything. Then I wiped the spot with a q-tip and swished with salt water. The area is slightly red, but the white spot is now gone. Does this look like an abscess? Or just some other dental sludge from eating or an ingredient in toothpaste or something? (Sorry for the poor quality, this was taken from a dental mirror with a phone camera.)

gumspot.jpg
 
Soma

Soma

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Just an update, I got back from the ENT a few minutes ago. At the moment I don't feel any closer to an answer. He looked up my nose, in my mouth, in my ears and had me open my jaw with his hands on the sides of my head to look for tmj.

He said he will order a ct scan of my sinuses and see me in SIX WEEKS then scooted out the door before I could even process it to ask any questions like - if this is a dental infection isn't 6 weeks a bit risky, and there is some considerable discomfort in my life from whatever this is, the thought of dealing with it for another month and a half isn't very appealing.

I did tell him I still fully believed it was a dental issue, spreading to the sinuses. He said sometimes dentist really can't tell if there's an infection with the basic tests they do with tapping, biting, temperature tests, and how limited their x-rays are.

I really hope my instincts are wrong even though I've been told countless times it isn't dental related.

Back to my good old life of misery for 6 more weeks I guess.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Scooting out of the door without giving you a chance to ask questions is not very reassuring. I quite get your worry about six weeks being too long.

Would it be an idea go for an another opinion?
 
Soma

Soma

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The doctors around here are notorious for overbooking themselves with patients. This ENT was really nice, but he was literally hopping between 3 other patients rooms while he was seeing me. I assume he had to get the other 3 patients out of their rooms so he could get 4 more in our place. The one thing I appreciated about him is not giving out prescriptions without knowing what the issue was. I hate medicine and I know a lot of doctors who push them on people willy-nilly. It was reassuring to know he wouldn't prescribe anything he didn't think I'd truly need.

I suppose I could get a second opinion. I just get the feeling they'll do the same thing. Take a look around and order some test and have me come back some time later. The goal line is constantly being pushed to some other day. I'm just tired of it all and sometimes you need to draw a line and surrender to fate. I've seen multiple dentist/endo, neurologist and now an ENT in the over-a-year that this stuff has been going on. I feel like at a certain point you have to say enough is enough and come what may. If you have to fight so hard to achieve something it makes you wonder if you are trudging down a path that is really right for you. What's the worst case scenario in letting life take its course? Never feeling pain again? Doesn't sound like a bad outcome. That's all any of us here ever wanted.
 
Soma

Soma

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As I continue to beat this dead horse....

I've been pretty much ignoring everything going on in my face and mouth. I completely stopped flossing the backside of my wisdom tooth in the area that hurts, It's slightly crooked and the back side of it has always been a little difficult to floss. Since I stopped flossing that spot and stopped looking in the mirror, stopped with the salt water swishes, stopped with the multiple brushings a day (still do an occasional oil pull) - the gnawing pain in my teeth and face has settled down significantly. If I start poking at it with my tongue I can feel the irritation start to wake up again and itll start to travel up the usual path from teeth to cheek to ear to temple to eye. Temperature sensitivity has returned to a normal level.

Despite all of this I still get occasional/daily metallic taste in that area and on my tongue. Another thing that hasn't really gone away is a biting /chewing pain I get back there. I've tried biting q-tips trying to figure out exactly where it's coming from but I don't get very far before I start gagging. It's different than the sharp 'cracked tooth' pain - it's more like biting on a very unhappy bruise. Sometimes the sensation radiates 3 or 4 teeth from the back. If I chew normal and without care it makes itself known pretty quickly, but If I chew extremely slow it doesn't seem to hurt. No clue. I'm still assuming some sort of infection is up there. Even though every other sign leading me to believe so has faded. But if there's one thing I've learned from exhausting google on this topic it's that teeth can and will find a way to infect everything that they are attached to, both literally and figuratively . Whether it be straight forward blazing pain or a more elusive dentist evading discomfort.

The ENT still hasn't contacted me about setting up the ct scan appointment. It's been about a week. Again, I don't really care at this point, it's just something to laugh at.

I've developed shortness of breath and heart palpitations as well during all of this, going on 7 days now. Maybe my ghostly infection has spread to my heart, that'd be exciting right? A few nights ago in a moment of weakness I went to the ER, and you guessed it, no answers or reason could be given for my symptoms. It's actually comical how no professional under the sun can give me an answer about anything. Oddly enough my mysterious symptoms have in no way effected their ability to detect my bank account.
 
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