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Root Canal, Pain Worse 2 Wks After, Unknown Diagnosis

D

DentalCrown

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Hi there,

I'm new to this forum so I hope I'm doing this right :p I have dental anxiety but was unable to post to the questions for people who are nervous forum. I am looking for advice and support for my issue.

I have always (seriously, always) been told I have more nerves in my mouth/teeth than the normal person and typically feel excruciating pain when I have a cavity. I had a filling completed on tooth #3 on July 31st. Prior to the filling being done, I had no pain on this tooth.

After the filling, I experienced excruciating pain when eating, drinking anything, etc. I had the 'typical' symptoms for what necessitated a root canal -- sensitivity to hot/cold foods, throbbing pain that woke me up several times at night, and pain when biting down on that area when eating.

The dentist tried to perform the root canal on August 8th and determined the nerve was too angry to continue, so she packed it with antibiotic gel, put a temp crown on the tooth, and sent me on my way (her words).

August 30th she completed the root canal. I was in the office for 6.5 hours. She had a hard time finding one of the canals which was not showing up on the x-ray and seemed to have "calcified", she said. She also stated my nerves were bent and had a hard time trying to make sure she located the entire length of the root/canals.

I experienced worse pain after the root canal. I went back to the dentist on September 5th and they found the temp crown had actually not been ground down enough so I was only biting on it when I bit down - not on any of my other teeth. She successfully adjusted my bite. Additionally, she also stated she was concerned about the infection possibly still being in the tooth, but I am allergic to penicillin and clindamyacin so she didn't know what else to prescribe me. They told me the infection will take a bit to heal but should not be the "same" pain after a week or so.

Last Friday, September 8th, I called them to ask about the pain as it has worsened. I cannot eat anything on that side, cannot drink anything on that side, and cannot use my electric toothbrush on that side (the vibrating sensation hurts). It throbs, it wakes me up at night throbbing. The dentist is perplexed at this point as she says that as she removed the nerve during the root canal, my tooth should not be hurting this bad. She is sending me to an endodontist today to get a second opinion (basically a consult) as he has a 3D x-ray that should give more information.

I've shelled out $2,000 for this root canal and crown, and that is ALL I can afford. My fear is that my mouth is going to require more work that I am unable to afford. :\

Has anyone been through this before? Or had any of these issues? Or is there a dentist on here who can recommend something to ask my dentist? My dentist is fairly new (graduated in 2015) and is open to any ideas I have as well as she's quite stumped on this.

My background: I had my 4 wisdom teeth pulled and a few fillings done. I have not had any other root canals or crowns before this experience.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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I'm so sorry you are going through all this.. there is nothing more anxiety producing than when troubles just get worse and more painful with a tooth... Though it seems like she is nice enough and well intentioned . She would have scared me enough to the point of leaving and getting second opinion and other care a bit ago. personally I'd definately seek a second opinion fast. and I hope somehow they are able to help you in a way you can do financially. :(..
 
brit

brit

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Sorry to hear this - depending on what the endodontist says, a learning for the future would be to always ask to be referred for root canals unless your General dentist is very experienced in them and has some form of magnification.
It sounds like she spent a very long time trying, so maybe it was a learning experience for her but not really fair if this is at your expense. Let's hope she has a good relationship with the endo and that he is able to bail her out at minimal cost to you.

PS I hope it wasn't an hourly charge, as 9 hours is outrageously long for any root canal even for a newbie.
 
D

DentalCrown

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I'm so sorry you are going through all this.. there is nothing more anxiety producing than when troubles just get worse and more painful with a tooth... Though it seems like she is nice enough and well intentioned . She would have scared me enough to the point of leaving and getting second opinion and other care a bit ago. personally I'd definately seek a second opinion fast. and I hope somehow they are able to help you in a way you can do financially. :(..
Thank you so much for your support and kind words. I am hoping the endodontist today will give me some answers, I just can't afford anything more. :\
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Please let us know how it goes!! wishing the best outcome for you !!
 
D

DentalCrown

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Sorry to hear this - depending on what the endodontist says, a learning for the future would be to always ask to be referred for root canals unless your General dentist is very experienced in them and has some form of magnification.
It sounds like she spent a very long time trying, so maybe it was a learning experience for her but not really fair if this is at your expense. Let's hope she has a good relationship with the endo and that he is able to bail her out at minimal cost to you.

PS I hope it wasn't an hourly charge, as 9 hours is outrageously long for any root canal even for a newbie.
Thank you very much for your support and kind words. My dentist is experienced in them and performs them on a regular basis from what she said (my husband has also had a root canal performed by her that was very successful). I agree, however, that this is not fair at my expense. I paid $2,000 for the root canal and crown. The endodontist is doing the consult for free to me (he is charging her) and then we'll see where it goes from here. I don't want to be rude to the dentist but at the same time I don't want to be responsible for more money after I am already making payments towards the $2,000 as I didn't have that much cash sitting on hand to begin with.

The first appointment (August 8th) was 3.5 hours long. The second appointment (August 30th) was 6.5 hours long. She couldn't successfully numb one of my nerves, either, and I was in so much pain during the procedure it was almost unbearable (I almost told her to quit because I was almost at my breaking point with the pain). Part of my anxiety now is because I feel as though anything else done is going to hurt 10x worse. :(

Thank you again for your support and for listening to me!
 
brit

brit

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The first appointment (August 8th) was 3.5 hours long. The second appointment (August 30th) was 6.5 hours long. She couldn't successfully numb one of my nerves, either, and I was in so much pain during the procedure it was almost unbearable (I almost told her to quit because I was almost at my breaking point with the pain). Part of my anxiety now is because I feel as though anything else done is going to hurt 10x worse. :(

Thank you again for your support and for listening to me!
She qualified in 2015 so she is not that experienced:(. There is no way she should be working on you if you are not numb...I would get a new dentist once this is sorted. A good endo will know advanced local anaesthetic techniques to get you numb. Good luck. I would not want her to continue as my dentist if I were you but those timings are outrageous so you have a good chance of getting a refund if you play it right...explain what happened to the endo in great detail 'failure to provide adequate anaesthesia' and a 6.5 hour appt!!!.
How hideous for you...you should have stopped her and asked to be referred as she failed to get you numb.

I am going to have to go back into retirement from this forum as I have decided the only way to avoid bad dental experiences is to go to good experienced (usually private) dentists..that is what I do...it has worked for 10 years....I am like a broken record on here...solve your fears by finding a better more competent dentist who owns the practice so they stick around and who knows when to refer.

This what it should be like:


The other learning is to not prep for a crown or onlay until you know the tooth has settled.
 
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D

DentalCrown

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Wow - Thank you SO much for this knowledge! I really hadn't googled much before going, just asked a few of my friends and my sister what their experience was like. I didn't realize other endos or dentists would know of other numbing techniques. She tried 4-5 different methods. The other nerves (the others in that same tooth she removed) were numbed and had no problem - it was just this particular nerve. Oddly enough, I almost think that's the location where the pain is coming from (but it could be radiating and I could be entirely wrong, haha).

Thank you again for your kindness. At the very least I can seek out an endo should I need another root canal at some point. She did fine with my fillings and my cleaning/exam so I trust her for the basic stuff.
 
brit

brit

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The unofficial DFC mantra is if they can't get you numb, you re-appoint, get sedation/new practitioner.
4 or 5 methods is impressive but there are lots (Stabident, X-tip, Gow gates, Akinosi, pdl etc)..I am not a dentist. Also changing the type of local used can be beneficial and not just the standard lidocaine.
I don't see how she can consider it reasonable for someone to have a 6.5 hr appt with local..it is too long even if you had been fully numb.
Let us know how it goes.

 
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D

DentalCrown

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Wow. That's good to know. Thank you, again!! I feel like I'm a little bit more armed with information and knowledge. I am really feeling like I should seek another dentist after this - I think you're absolutely right.
 
D

DentalCrown

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She qualified in 2015 so she is not that experienced:(. There is no way she should be working on you if you are not numb...I would get a new dentist once this is sorted. A good endo will know advanced local anaesthetic techniques to get you numb. Good luck. I would not want her to continue as my dentist if I were you but those timings are outrageous so you have a good chance of getting a refund if you play it right...explain what happened to the endo in great detail 'failure to provide adequate anaesthesia' and a 6.5 hour appt!!!.
How hideous for you...you should have stopped her and asked to be referred as she failed to get you numb.

I am going to have to go back into retirement from this forum as I have decided the only way to avoid bad dental experiences is to go to good experienced (usually private) dentists..that is what I do...it has worked for 10 years....I am like a broken record on here...solve your fears by finding a better more competent dentist who owns the practice so they stick around and who knows when to refer.

This what it should be like: http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/root-canal/

The other learning is to not prep for a crown or onlay until you know the tooth has settled.
Hi!! I wanted to update you guys on what happened yesterday at the endodontist's office.

He was extremely nice! Very compassionate, understanding, and thorough in his work trying to establish what exactly was the root of the problem (ha, no pun intended). On a side note, 3D tooth xrays look freaking awesome!

There was a large piece of file left in one of the canals on the tooth that had the root canal and there was a canal/nerve that the other dentist missed. I have bent nerves and canals; she was unable to see that with her own eye AND on the traditional x-ray. He explained that's why endos have 3D x-rays, because they can see more things that a traditional x-ray machine in a dentist's office doesn't catch. Additionally, he very nicely/politely made the comment that for someone such as myself with severely bent canals and nerves, I should always seek an endo if I ever have to have another root canal because they have extensive knowledge on how to do root canals on bent canals/nerves and they make sure you are numb (You were right, Brit!!).

He said he wanted to redo the root canal - clean out everything, get the piece of file out of my canal, and refill everything. I told him how scared and hesitant I was due to not being numbed last time and feeling *everything* and he promised I'd be numb. He said they have a ton of techniques and different numbing agents to use. Additionally, he said the procedure will only take a little over an hour at max (woo hoo!).

So needless to say, I scheduled the procedure for next Tuesday afternoon but now my anxiety is kicking in. Gah! I know he's super nice and will make sure I'm numb though so I hope this solves my issues.

I cannot thank you guys enough for your kind words and advice. You helped ease my anxiety yesterday before my appointment. Thank you so much!!
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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This is so awesome and encouraging!! So glad you found the reason and a peace with this new Endo. He sounds GREAT.. !! Wow . Hope it goes well! sounds like it will be a much easier and painfree experience!!
 
D

DentalCrown

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This is so awesome and encouraging!! So glad you found the reason and a peace with this new Endo. He sounds GREAT.. !! Wow . Hope it goes well! sounds like it will be a much easier and painfree experience!!
Thank you so much! He was very sweet. I really hope this will be a much easier experience. His assistants seem very kind, too. A bit kinder than the other office as they aren't super busy so they aren't running around like crazy chickens.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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That is super nice. I HATE the feeling of a dental office that is rushed or seems busy, it makes me SO MUCH more nervous.. I recently took my son for a cleaning to an office and The Dr was so rushed , and he didn't sit down and quickly hovered over my son said a few things and rushed out.. then everyone else just seemed on edge. I walked out thinking . NO WAY.. would we get work there. This was an office my 18 yr old picked for herself and ssaid she felt awkward there and wanted me to check it out so I took my son for an exam.. since it wasn't work thought would be pretty good way to gage.. yikes.. nope.. good for her wanting moms second opinion .. both of our guts said no way. Hate the rush factor and glad you found a really sweet office..!! Makes SUCH a difference!



Thank you so much! He was very sweet. I really hope this will be a much easier experience. His assistants seem very kind, too. A bit kinder than the other office as they aren't super busy so they aren't running around like crazy chickens.
 
brit

brit

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There was a large piece of file left in one of the canals on the tooth that had the root canal and there was a canal/nerve that the other dentist missed. I have bent nerves and canals; she was unable to see that with her own eye AND on the traditional x-ray. He explained that's why endos have 3D x-rays, because they can see more things that a traditional x-ray machine in a dentist's office doesn't catch. Additionally, he very nicely/politely made the comment that for someone such as myself with severely bent canals and nerves, I should always seek an endo if I ever have to have another root canal because they have extensive knowledge on how to do root canals on bent canals/nerves and they make sure you are numb (You were right, Brit!!).

He said he wanted to redo the root canal - clean out everything, get the piece of file out of my canal, and refill everything. I told him how scared and hesitant I was due to not being numbed last time and feeling *everything* and he promised I'd be numb. He said they have a ton of techniques and different numbing agents to use. Additionally, he said the procedure will only take a little over an hour at max (woo hoo!).

!
Really pleased for you. Two things occur: 1. she would have known she had broken off a file surely? 2. Ask him if he can subtly hint at an alternative competent General Dentist for you as that 6 1/2 hr marathon was totally unacceptable.
3. His magnification with a microscope is what counts as well as the x-rays being enhanced.
Best wishes :jump:
 
D

DentalCrown

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Really pleased for you. Two things occur: 1. she would have known she had broken off a file surely? 2. Ask him if he can subtly hint at an alternative competent General Dentist for you as that 6 1/2 hr marathon was totally unacceptable.
3. His magnification with a microscope is what counts as well as the x-rays being enhanced.
Best wishes :jump:
You guys are not going to believe this!!

The original dentist told me 2 days ago that they would foot the bill for the entire re-treatment of the root canal. They called me this morning to tell me that they've since changed their mind as they received the bill from the endodontist and he is charging nearly $1200 whereas the original dentist charged $620 for the root canal (so apparently the $2000 I was charged included the crown and build up).

They gave me two options:
1 - Come to their office for another 6 hour marathon of a re-treatment.
2 - Refund 1/3 of my money of the root canal and I can pay the endo if I want to go to him.

I basically chewed out the business manager. I told her:
1 - I was not fully numb, I am not going through that again. The endo said he will ensure I am properly numbed.
2 - I am not sitting through another 6 hour marathon when the endo can do it in an hour.
3 - I wouldn't have to be getting the re-treatment if she (the dentist) did this right the first time, so clearly this is all because she made a mistake.
4 - They promised to rectify the situation 2 days ago and now are taking back their word? How unprofessional.
5 - My anxiety is now raised about procedures in their office since they continued to work on me when I was not numb. I was verbally making noises from the pain and holding my arms up, I kicked over a dental tray from the pain, and I had tears coming out of my eyes and they kept going, "You're doing great, it's almost over, I'm so sorry!" She was completely apologetic about it at the time, she wasn't rude whatsoever, but just the whole ordeal about how much pain I was in makes me not want to go through that again. I still have to go to their office for the permanent crown anyway in a week.

She is currently talking to the dentist and said that she would call me back.
 
brit

brit

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Sounds like you are being very assertive with them. Well done. As you are in the USA I would threaten them with legal action and a bad internet review unless she refunds you in full.
You do not have to and should not go back there for the crown. If she has already prepped the tooth, another dentist can do new impressions and finish it off. Never go back to bad dentists for treatment.
Amazing that she is offering another 6 hour marathon of incompetence - does she not realise how unprofessional that sounds? Best wishes.

PS She broke off and left a file in a canal causing you pain and suffering which she did not own up to at the time- she is not competent to do the retreatment - retreatments are always best in the hands of endodontists and should never take 6 hours!
She caused you significant pain during treatment (technically assault since holding up an arm is a common stop signal?) what you described sounds unbelievable for 20th century let alone 21st.
When she couldn't make decent progress at the first appt was the correct time to refer but no she was greedy and did not act in your best interest.
Is this a dental chain you are going to by any chance?
 
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DentalCrown

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Sounds like you are being very assertive with them. Well done. As you are in the USA I would threaten them with legal action and a bad internet review unless she refunds you in full.
You do not and should not go back there for the crown. If she has already prepped the tooth, another dentist can do new impressions and finish it off. Never go back to bad dentists for treatment.
Amazing that she is offering another 6 hour marathon of incompetence - does she not realise how unprofessional that sounds? Best wishes.

PS She broke off and left a file in a canal causing you pain and suffering which she did not own up to at the time- she is not competent to do the retreatment - retreatments are always best in the hands of endodontists and should never take 6 hours!
She caused you significant pain during treatment (technically assault since holding up an arm is a common stop signal?) what you described sounds unbelievable for 20th century let alone 21st.
When she couldn't make decent progress at the first appt was the correct time to refer but no she was greedy and did not act in your best interest.
Is this a dental chain you are going to by any chance?
Thank you! I certainly threatened them with this. I have already paid for the permanent crown (they required me to when they took impressions) and they will not refund me for that. I will go get it done through them (it can't be that hard, right?) but I'm still nervous.

I reiterated to her that it sounded extremely unprofessional to even ask me to consider her redoing anything. I agree with you completely - it should be done by an endodontist!

At the first appointment, she said that the issue was just because of the swollen nerve and that everything would be OK when I came back. We agreed on a stop signal being my arm raised as I reiterated to her that I wanted to know what to do if I started feeling uncomfortable or any pain as when they put the filling in that tooth on July 31st, it was uncomfortable and they had to re-numb me several times during the procedure.

It isn't a dental chain. It's a small little office owned by her. She is the only dentist there with around 6-7 assistants and a front office staff.
 
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