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Ongoing Crown Nightmare

R

rockitorknockit

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First time poster... been a struggle to get support about what I'm going through. Excited to have found y'all and hoping for some empathy, insight, advice, or anything else you may be willing and able to offer.

Kind of a long story, so I'll try to keep it succinct:

I was not particularly phobic of dentists before my recent experiences. I didn't love them, but I still had a sense of trust with them. No longer. I got my first root canal about a month ago on tooth 15 (furthest back upper left molar). It was a traumatic experience, and has been ever since. It took 3 hours, my numbness wore off halfway through (I have a very high pain tolerance luckily), my face and jaw was horribly bruised from her man-handling. I assume the actual root canal itself was a success because I have not had a single issue with that actual tooth since, but I have had a million issues with the rest of my mouth.

The temporary crown was placed incorrectly. I went for two adjustments immediately, the last of which was on a Friday and left it feeling even worse than before, too high and just wrong? Shoved up in my head weirdly. It clearly disturbed my sinuses because that same day I suddenly became incredibly sick and spent the next week barely functioning at work due to inflammation in my sinuses and ear causing extreme vertigo and nausea. So after that "adjustment", I was in excruciating pain the entire weekend, as the office lady then ghosted my calls and emails despite promising me she would be around to take them if I needed it corrected again. It took 7 calls to other dentists to find one that would treat me on a weekend as an emergency, if I was willing to pay them $700 just for making them come in. I couldn't afford this on top of what I already paid for this root canal and crown, so I went to work anyway and waited. I had it adjusted a third time on Monday, which was a huge relief... but now it was too low?! Oh well; I dealt with it because it was better than it was and I knew the permanent crown would be in soon. Also, all of the adjustments were making my bruised face and jaw take longer to recover so I wanted a few days without someone in my face.

Permanent crown came in a couple days early so I jumped at the chance to get it and be over with this nightmare (silly me). When I went in to have it placed, I specifically told the dentist I was concerned about the possibility of it being too low, in particular because one of my front bottom teeth had been hitting the back of one of my top front teeth. She put it on my tooth to test, and again, I expressed concern that it was a little too low. She dismissed my concerns about my front teeth feeling weird as if I was being silly, saying it wouldn't damage them and usually crowns are too high, and she used that paper to test my bite. She showed me it was touching the tooth below so it had to be fine. I foolishly trusted her and allowed her to cement it on.

It's been a week now. My bite is wrong, or something. For the first few days, my jaw just felt tense and my mouth felt weirdly uncomfortable... I thought I just needed to get used to the crown, maybe? Then, a couple of days ago, sensitivity and soreness began in some areas near my front teeth. It feels like the pressure in my mouth on that side has shifted forward. And yes, my bottom front tooth is still occasionally hitting my top front tooth, which is one of the most uncomfortable aspects of this.

I've been wondering if I am just going crazy and being panicky or if this could really be wrong. And what now? I paid hundreds of dollars for this. I'm not rich. I am also absolutely terrified of going back to that same office now and asking about how to correct this. I don't trust any of them.

Mind you I had the root canal because this same dentist screwed up a filling on that tooth. I went in to have it checked because I was in intense pain for months as a result of that. I have been experiencing mouth pain of some form or another literally since December. It's heavily impacting my appetite. I didn't eat yesterday because I'm just so anxious and fearful of pain and dental damage. I feel like I am going crazy. I feel like it is going to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix this. I am somewhat embarrassed and surprised to admit that this all has really pushed me to the edge and I've cried about it a lot, leaving me just feeling kind of hopeless about ever feeling comfortable in my own skull again. Because of the very stressful work I do, I am very good at containing my emotions, but this has been the thing that's testing that. I have had panic attacks larger than I've ever experienced before in my decades of having a diagnosed panic disorder. It feels like it is impacting me completely mentally and physically. I am sure you all can understand better than anyone.

This is already quite long. Thank you for taking the time to read. I have a "Free Consultation" with another dental office this afternoon to see what kind of options there might be. I have no idea if they will be more trustworthy or what they'll really be willing to tell me for free. I would love to hear what y'all think. And if you do think I am being paranoid or something and that's impacting my perspective on my bite, do not hesitate to let me know. I think I would almost be relieved if I was just "being crazy" vs having to continue this dental nightmare.

Biggest concerns:
  • this cannot be fixed unless I pay someone else an insane amount of money to re-do the crown, which could still be placed incorrectly
  • my teeth are being damaged by my bite being off and/or will shift and look weird, all requiring even more dental work
  • I'll never be able to eat without pain of some degree and variety again, making my quality of life feel very low
Again, thank you to anyone who takes the time. And just for some perspective, I am a 33 year old female.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Rockitorknockit

I am first so sorry you are going through this.. what a stressful situation , You are definately in the company of those with similiar situations who can empathize. Sorry about that traumatic root canal experience, that sounds horrible.. and then to have things spiral down with your bite and crown , is stress producing for sure..

I am really glad you will be going for a free consult elsewhere, if nothing else it may give you a peace of mind, but it may lead you to a good dentist you feel comfortable with who can help you sort this out.

You know your body, and you know when your bite feels off.. if it hadn't I'm sure you would be very happy and relieved. It really sounds you are not comfortable or trusting with this dentist , so I'd be going to another consult or 2 just to feel other places out and see if you might feel more comfortable possibly there.

I think respect and listening is a huge thing in dental and some dentists are really good at this and others just go right past your boundaries and thoughts in some things. It sounds like she didn't really listen to your concerns and if it were me , I'd feel very unheard and discouraged just in general plus all the dental concerns that are now new..

Anyways.. good for you for even stepping up and going and continuing on depsite your anxiety. You deserve alot of credit in this. I really hope this new consult goes well for you , and you can get someone who really listens and helps you.
 
S

Spider

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I'm not an expert, but my first thought was that you could be having an odd bite from your jaw trauma after having your mouth open for so long. I have episodes of very bad TMJ and it will cause my teeth to bite down differently and that causes sensitivity in my teeth. If you massage around your jaw bone, where the top and bottom connect, it may feel really sore. Also, if I pinch my cheek (one finger in my mouth, one on the outside) and put them far back, I can feel a very tight sore muscle. You can massage the muscle to help relax your jaw. For whatever reason, when my jaw is acting up, I clench my teeth even worse at night, which causes more pain the next day. A night guard keeps me from damaging my teeth while I clench at night. For me, its an awful cycle- jaw pain, anxiety, clenching, tooth pain etc. I really hope you find answers soon and your anxiety can lessen. I get very anxious about anything to do with teeth and dentists, so I understand how overwhelming it all is. Please keep us updated!
 
R

rockitorknockit

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Thank you SO much to both of you, krlovesherkids777 and Spider. Both of your responses were so helpful to me.

I read the response from krlovesherkids777 just before my consult yesterday and it made me feel emotionally supported and encouraged. It helped me feel brave, frankly.

I read the response from Spider this morning, and honestly, I had actually had that exact thought. I don't have TMJ, but the feeling in my jaw after the root canal was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. I struggled with biting normally for at least a couple of days. If I had enough inflammation up in my sinuses to cause me to be ill for a week, it certainly would make sense that my jaw was part of that and impacted my bite/teeth. So I like this theory as part of what I am experiencing. My jaw does need a break. My whole HEAD does!

So to update about the consult: I wasn't as anxious as I expected to be because I knew they weren't going to be doing any actual work on me. But going into the building was a bit nerve wracking because it was a very strange office set-up?! I can't even describe it. It looked like a library. Or like it used to be a museum or something. Just very strange. Also that gross tooth burning smell.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that even though it was just a free consult, they took multiple digital pictures of my teeth and bite and even did a couple of x-rays. It was all higher-tech stuff than my recent dentist has ever done as well. I was impressed and encouraged by this.

Then the dentist was weirdly a complete and total dick to the assistant??? Who was very nice and gentle with me. He was polite enough to me as the patient... but yeah, that was off-putting.

But to get to the point: he did several tests on my bite and showed me with actual pictures of the inks what was going on. He confirmed that I was 100% correct, the crown is so low it is literally not touching the tooth opposite it at all when I bite or grind. However, he felt very pleased with the way everything looked and feels that considering the heavy pressure on the tooth next to it, the amount of pressure that would be hitting the crown if it was touching fully would destroy the remaining tooth underneath and possibly the crown itself. He assured me that within a couple of months things will have shifted a little bit, be touching more, and I should be used to everything and it should be fine.

I did ask specifically about pain I am currently experiencing. He was a bit dismissive of this though, saying it should go away when things aren't shifting as much. I didn't feel great about his disinterest in my overall experience with the other dentist or my pain, but I did appreciate the photographic explanation of what's going on in my mouth where he could point out why he is okay with the work completed.

So... I have to say I am cautiously optimistic and relieved. It is nice to know that I am not crazy, and the dentist that did this work was flat out wrong about my bite being the same as it was before and the crown touching. So I feel like it being okay now is sheer LUCK. My bite HAS changed. This is really best-case-scenario news though, because it means I don't need more dental work right now. If I am going to trust what he told me, then I should give myself time to heal and shift and everything will be fine.

The traumatized and anxious person in me says DON'T BELIEVE HIM! But... I feel like I should just try to settle and recover for now?

I do feel less pain today as well. I was able to eat breakfast this morning without being so hyper focused on how it felt on each tooth to do so. I wonder if some of the pain I'm experiencing now is literally just phantom pain from my anxiety and perceived sense that everything in my mouth is getting damaged somehow.

I think I really need some time to recover from all of this mentally too. Every time I brush and floss now, I worry I am somehow doing it wrong or missing something and all my teeth are going to start rotting out of my head at a rapid rate. I think receiving my first root canal made it all hit me that my dental health ain't gonna get better as I age, and both my parents had a ton of dental issues. Phew, just thinking about this now is making my heart rate go up a bit. Let's take the good where we can get it... for now, that crown should be okay?

Thanks again for reading!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Rockitorknockit..

So glad to hear a little relief is in the air!! GREAT job going to this appt and getting it sorted out and so glad you felt a braver going in! :).. It sounds you did amazing and weren't even too put off or discouraged by the way the dentist treated the assistant, like your antennas were definately up; on that but you were still able to listen and get what he was telling you.. That is really amazing actually!! wow.. Sounds like you got some answers and validation and for some you have to wait it out.. but all in all.. you did awesome!! Hopefully you can take a little break and let the crown sort out a little on its own it sounds ? Either way you know you have what it takes to go to that dentist or any other and check into whats going!! :perfect::thumbsup!:
 
S

Spider

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Yay!! So glad the dentist didnt see anything really awful. I'm glad I was able to help. My anxiety is really bad so I totally get how you feel! Be easy on yourself if you can. When my jaw gets very sore, it takes a good amount of time to heal so if part of your problem is from a sore jaw, it's going to take some time to settle down. Thanks for the update too :)
 
R

rockitorknockit

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Starting to freak out all over again. Last couple of days I've started feeling some soreness when there is pressure on that crown. Not intense or severe, but of course I made the mistake of googling if this is normal and now I'm convinced the whole root canal is failing. Is it normal to have some soreness a week and a half after crown placement? Could it be from it shifting around? Chewing on it when it is low? Am I screwed? I hate how out of control and crazy my panic is making me. I can't seem to ever get away from the spiraling thoughts.
 
R

rockitorknockit

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Hi again. So, as I am sure most of the people who post here are, I feel desperate for some reassurance and/or guidance.

To try to summarize very briefly for those that don't want to read a lot: tooth 15 got a root canal about a month ago, maybe a little more - it was brutal. Temp crown was an even bigger nightmare. Permanent crown finally put on about a week and a half ago. Despite the dentist assuring me it was fine, a second dentist has confirmed it is low but that he would not change it due to the amount of pressure that would be on it as indicated by the molar next to it and that it will likely be shifting some.

In general the actual root canaled tooth has felt fine through all of this, but every single thing else around it has been disturbed (to include my sinuses).

Last couple days, I've noticed the crown is slightly tender with pressure/biting. Really mild soreness feeling, and I can't tell if it is coming from the gums or the tooth underneath or what, but it has sent me spiraling with panic. I was under the impression I should be fine and normal by now. Also have noticed some tenderness in other molars near it, which I assume is from them now taking the brunt of my bite/grind. Very anxious that the soreness on the crowned tooth in particular is abnormal and indicative of a bigger issue (such as the root canal failing...?). This is my first root canal and crown, and the entire experience (as you can read in the thread I linked to) has been absolutely traumatizing for me. I have also had concerns that my changed bite would be damaging to other teeth. But right now I am most concerned about that crown. Is it just healing? Am I still recovering from all the trauma? Do I need to be worried about any of this?

I would give almost anything to find a dentist I know is trust worthy and be able to come up with the cash to get some reassurance, or at least be able to afford to fix it on the spot.

Thank you for your patience and anything you can offer. I will say I am scheduled for a standard cleaning with a new dentist on June 6... I would like to say I could just wait until then to see how it feels, but my anxiety is too all consuming.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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It's really hard to say without seeing anything but here's my best guesses... in order of how likely I think they are:
1) The tooth which had the crown on it was out of your bite, it will erupt a bit further to compensate for this. It's a bit soon but it might not have erupted into an ideal position so it will need to be checked and possibly adjusted but also the process is still ongoing and it may well correct itself.
2) Possibly some TMJ issues are ongoing after all the treatment.
3) The RCT could be failing but the symptoms don't sound like it.
 
R

rockitorknockit

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Hi, Gordon. Thank you so much for taking time to read and respond to me. While I know you haven't actually looked at my teeth/x-rays, I do feel some reassurance from your response.

The dentist that confirmed the crown was low told me that in a couple of months we would probably find the crown touching in my bite. So I assume he was referring to what you mentioned about the tooth erupting. And I guess that takes longer than just a few days, haha... :(

I have never been technically diagnosed with TMJ, but I have always had a clicking jaw and ever since the root canal I've had some other symptoms.

Frankly I feel like every day my bite feels slightly different now and I am wondering if it is swelling sometimes? or just shifting teeth, or something. I never had this experience before this work was done. I am almost certain my bottom front tooth didn't ever touch the back of my top front tooth, and now it does regularly.

Being so aware of my mouth and teeth all the time is driving me insane. It doesn't help that my job is also very stressful, which causes me to clench my jaw a lot, which has been uncomfortable with all the work happening in my mouth, and also probably exacerbates any inflammation happening in my jaw or elsewhere.

Would you agree that, at this time, a good plan of action would be to just give it a little time? Maybe see how things feel when I go to my cleaning in a couple of weeks, provided no extreme pain crops up?

Thank you again!
 
G

Getting Anxious

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I am having sort of the same issue. However,my crown is a permanent one that is on with temporary cement. After my initial crown prep, My dentist put the permanent crown on, saying that it should solve the pain my temp was causing. He used temp cement "just in case". Well, a week later I had a root canal because it got worse and infected and the endodontist said it never would have healed on it's own. Immediately after he put the permanent crown back on explaining that if he didn't, the crown would not be good later on. Fast forward 5 weeks to finish the root canal because the gums and area were inflamed around the tooth and he didn't want to do it earlier. I was very sore and uncomfortable the entire time in between the 2 treatments. I felt it might be the crown and he said that he didn't think it was the cause but it "certainly wasn't helping it heal." He gave me peridix oral rinse for 2 weeks. It is 4 days since he finished up the root canal and it is still very sore to touch the crown. I don't have any throbbing pain but the soreness just won't go away.

I am over-the-top with anxiety about what to do. In between all this I had a root canal on the other side which I had a post and core put in and am going to the dentist in 3 days to get the crown prep. I am petrified of getting the crown prep even though the root canal seemed to go OK. Should I ask the dentist to take off the permanent crown on the other side to let the root canal heal or won't that make a difference? I'm hurting and scared. I go back and forth changing my mind about moving forward or just cancelling all the appointments or getting the tooth extracted. It seems there has been a lot of trauma to my whole mouth.

Any advice would be appreciated and especially anybody who can give me encouragement that there is light at the end of the tunnel and how long it could take for the tooth to settle. I really don't want to have to start taking meds for anxiety.
 
R

rockitorknockit

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Having a really hard time following my own advice of "giving it time" right now. Crown felt completely fine this morning and when I ate breakfast. Then eating lunch just now, suddenly more sore than ever?! Molar now taking the brunt of my bite on that side hurts more whenever I chew now too (but not when I poke or prod or empty mouth bite, literally only when I chew). I don't understand all of this and I'm just freaking out again. And it's all making me depressed. Wondering when this will end.

I sent several emails out to dentists with high google ratings just now to see if someone else will give me a consult. Not sure what else to do. Tired of being in pain when I try to eat. Tired of worrying. I cannot stand the uncertainty and wish someone would just properly look at me and tell me what's going on. This has cost me so much - literally and figuratively.
 
G

Getting Anxious

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Oh Rockitorknockit-I empathize with you completely. I just spent the weekend out of town at my son's new house and, instead of enjoying myself, was totally miserable about my entire mouth. I laid awake during the night obsessing about it all and wishing I could find some dental expert who would just knock me out and fix this all up (and I really am not too keen on anaesthesia) but this is how desperate I am. I feel I need to get a grip on myself and not to waste my life worrying but it's easier said than done. Please try to hang in there and let me know how you are doing and coping. Let's hope this too shall pass.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Hi, Gordon. Thank you so much for taking time to read and respond to me. While I know you haven't actually looked at my teeth/x-rays, I do feel some reassurance from your response.

The dentist that confirmed the crown was low told me that in a couple of months we would probably find the crown touching in my bite. So I assume he was referring to what you mentioned about the tooth erupting. And I guess that takes longer than just a few days, haha... :(

I have never been technically diagnosed with TMJ, but I have always had a clicking jaw and ever since the root canal I've had some other symptoms.

Frankly I feel like every day my bite feels slightly different now and I am wondering if it is swelling sometimes? or just shifting teeth, or something. I never had this experience before this work was done. I am almost certain my bottom front tooth didn't ever touch the back of my top front tooth, and now it does regularly.

Being so aware of my mouth and teeth all the time is driving me insane. It doesn't help that my job is also very stressful, which causes me to clench my jaw a lot, which has been uncomfortable with all the work happening in my mouth, and also probably exacerbates any inflammation happening in my jaw or elsewhere.

Would you agree that, at this time, a good plan of action would be to just give it a little time? Maybe see how things feel when I go to my cleaning in a couple of weeks, provided no extreme pain crops up?

Thank you again!

Hiya, sorry you're having such a nightmare. Quite often (slightly lazy!) labs make the crowns a bit too low deliberately, it makes it much easier for them and most of the time they get away with it. I'm not putting all the blame on the labs either, it makes things easier for the dentist too, because they don't need to bother checking the bite and adjusting it at the fit appointment...
Anyway, it sounds like you've had some incipient TMJ issues and the change in your bite has sparked something off. It's very much a stress related condition too, I used to suffer badly from it when I was sitting exams as an undergraduate. After my final exams I couldn't open my mouth properly for about a month :)
It would be worth getting somebody to double check the crown isn't coming into the wrong position as it erupts, it can happen.
Other thing to do in the meantime will be to follow some of the TMJ advice, try ice packs/heat packs on your joint areas, try to relax as much as you can, make a point of relaxing your jaw when you find you're clenching, I do it when I'm reading something I need to concentrate on...
Try not to bite your nails, take smaller bites of food and try to eat a bit of a softer diet for a couple of days to get over the worst of it.

Some ibuprofen or similar will help a bit too if you can take them.

Hope this helps.
 
S

Spider

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oh no :( How does it feel today? I believe we share the same overwhelming doom and gloom anxiety about our teeth so I can really sympathize with how you're feeling. Personally, I think its completely normal for a tooth to feel sore and aggravated weeks after any work is done on it. I had a basic cleaning appointment last Tuesday and my mouth still feels a bit sore. A sore jaw can also cause my teeth to feel sore too. I really hope things have settled down and everything is okay x
 
krlovesherkids777

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rockitorknockit,

I'm with Spider and hope things have settled down a bit for you. How are you doing?
 
R

rockitorknockit

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I apologize for the delays in my posts, I have a crazy work schedule. I appreciate the care and support you both are showing me so much more than I can articulate.

Monday afternoon I ended up going back to the shitty dental office because I didn't know what else to do and they would look at it for free. A different dentist than the woman who has been working on me was there. He looked at things and said my bite actually looked high in some places so he shaved a few spots down on that side of my mouth. He also told me I seem to have severe TMJ, which I am not surprised to hear is true but am surprised no other dentist has ever bothered to actually tell me.

Let me also not understate how anxiety-inducing even going there was, much less actually allowing him to adjust things. I had a full blown actual panic attack when I left. I guess that confirms I am truly traumatized.

His adjustment of my bite seems to have entirely resolved some pain that was popping up on other molars on that side my mouth, but the crown is still tender. In fact, just now I was eating some spaghetti (super soft, right?) and one of the bites I took hurt tremendously. And, once again, my mouth just feels weird. My jaw seems sore. I wonder if he just needs to adjust it a tad more? or if something more serious is going on with the tooth underneath? What I'm REALLY wondering is: when will this all END?

I know I must be driving my fiancee absolutely bonkers by cycling about this. It's crazy-making. I am desperate for a resolution. Now I am wondering how long I should wait for things to resettle before going back yet again to say it is still bothering me.
 
Dg6300

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I can’t offer any advice, but I do send encouragement.

Hang in there.
 
S

Spider

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I'm thinking that if something was wrong, they would have found it especially since 3 different dentists have had a look. Did they do anything to test if that root canal/crowned tooth has feeling? (I have no idea what I'm talking about- just wondering, lol!) Do they have an explanation for the pain you're feeling in that tooth? I think if they see nothing wrong, its reasonable to blame your severe TMJ for the pains. I have TMJ too, and throughout the years I've had some horrible tooth aches and went in totally convinced that I needed an extraction and the dentist would look and tell me that nothing was wrong. I think with TMJ, all the nerves in your jaw and teeth can get so inflamed and aggravated. For me, I try to eat softer foods, and I don't eat anything that requires me to open my mouth wider and bite hard (like hard chocolate, lol). You may be clenching your jaw at night when you sleep, so a mouth guard might help too. I clench my jaw during the day as well, so throughout the day, randomly focus on your jaw and see if your jaw is tense and then make an effort to relax it. Its a terrible cycle of pain, more clenching and more pain and when you have anxiety on top of that, it can be quite horrible. You are so not alone- I've convinced myself of all sorts of terrible outcomes. Last year I was pretty certain that I needed a jaw transplant because my jaw joints may have become so damaged.. and then I worked myself into a panic because during my jaw transplant recovery I would need my jaw wired shut and then I would probably get nauseous and vomit and choke to death on the vomit since my mouth wouldn't open wide enough. Anxiety is an awful thing. I feel for you and really understand how you're feeling. Keep us updated on how things are going xx
 
M

MountainMama

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When my root canal/crown failed, the dentist had me wait at least 3 months before going to get it checked at the endodontist. She also left the temporary on during that time. It could just need to settle after being "bruised" from the root canal and then subsequent bite issues. That can take a while, but it should improve slowly.

If it continues to hurt, I would go to an endodontist and have it checked. Mine never had severe pain but also never lost that bruised feeling. I ended up having it extracted. After all that pain, it was actually a relief to get it out.
 
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