Pain Back in Root Canalled Tooth

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Squashface

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Jul 9, 2020
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I had a root canal on my front tooth 10 months ago as I had a very bad abscess. The tooth continued to hurt mildly and sometimes moderately for months afterwards. The pain is intermittent. It hurts most when I’m exercising. Sometimes when eating but not always. Some days I don’t get any pain. Weirdly sometimes it feels like it’s the neighbouring tooth. It’s so strange!

I have gone back to the endodontist several times and he says the root canal looks great. But did say sometimes root canalled teeth can hurt a little for a year. He did a CT scan back in December and there was a small dark patch at the end of the root. He said this could be scar tissue or maybe a small amount of residual infection. But thought it couldn’t be infected because it hasn’t responded to antibiotics. So he thought we should leave it a few months and if it still hurts we could do another CT scan to see if that shows improvement.

In mid January the pain suddenly went away. I stopped thinking about it and thought it had finally healed. For about 6 or 7 weeks it was like a normal tooth with no pain. However, a few weeks ago after an extremely stressful house move the pain is back! I’m so upset. To make matters worse I now live a long way from the endodontist.

Does anyone have any ideas what could be going on? I don’t believe it’s cracked, because the pain wouldn’t go away and then come back. The pain has never been improved by antibiotics (I’ve had 3 rounds post rct) so I don’t think it’s infected. It’s just so frustrating! I’m fed up with pain even if it is often intermittent and mild. Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Squashface

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Thanks for this Gordon! Would you recommend I wait a little while to see if it settles back down? I’m not opposed to having the root canal redone, but I’m not convinced it will significantly improve the situation.
Is it possible it could still settle down? Or do you think I should be looking to have further treatment?
 
Gordon

Gordon

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I'd wait and see, it's possible that you've been grinding a bit on it due to all the stress, so if that's been removed it may well improve again.
 
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Squashface

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Thanks Gordon! Really appreciate your advice.
 
M

Mageris

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Thanks Gordon! Really appreciate your advice.
Hey there, was wondering if your issue got resolved? I'm basically in the exact same boat so I'd like to know how it played out. If it was any other tooth,I wouldn't even do rct but it's right in the front of my mouth so I'm trying to do right and save it. Just hope it goes well without complications or very little residual pain.
 
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Squashface

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I went to see a new dentist shortly after my last post. Looking at the X-rays he thought the original root canal hadn’t been very well done and it was probably leaving small gaps where bacteria could be surviving. I booked an appointment to redo the root canal.
Due to the covid backlog it was a several month wait. In that time the tooth actually stopped hurting. I ended up cancelling the appointment as I didn’t want to mess around with it if it’d finally settled.

It’s now been about 3 months and I haven’t had any siginificant pain. Maybe the odd twinge here or there. Touch wood it stays that way!! If it does get bad again I’ll get the new dentist to re do the root canal.

In total it took 11 months after the root canal was performed for the tooth to settle. But if I’m honest I wouldn’t be surprised if it did flare up again in future as the dentist has said it wasn’t the best root canal. But I’m just thankful I don’t currently have any pain. I would say it didn’t really have proper symptoms of a failed root canal (e.g. swelling or severe pain) just mild pain and intermittent throbbing. So I wonder if I was just unlucky that it took so long to heal. If it had been severe pain there is no way I would’ve waited so long to see if it settled!
 
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Mageris

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Thank you for the update. Tbh, idk if I'll wait 11 months if it's still giving me issues when I get mine done. I might wait 3 but if no change, then retreat, then if still no change, I'll have mine probably extracted and a bridge put in at least by that time.

Having had tooth issues constantly for the last 11 years has been really exhausting and there's times where I'm on the brink to find someone to extract every bad tooth and be done with it. Even if I would look like a jack-o-lantern or end up with dentures before I'm 40. I'm just so over the pain and sensitivity issues.
 
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Squashface

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I don’t blame you. In all honesty the only reason I didn’t proceed with any further treatment was that the dentist I was seeing at the time said the only further treatment available would be to remove the tooth and get an implant. As it was my front tooth it wasn’t a solution I was very happy with. He kept telling the root canal was perfect so there was no point in redoing it. My new dentist felt the root canal could’ve been done better! So I could’ve lost my front tooth and spent thousands on an implant when it wasn’t necessary!!
 
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