Root canal/crown problems

<p>Last summer I finally got work done on a tooth that had been broken approximately a year. I would have gotten it fixed sooner, but I basically held off on it until my mom got dental benefits and I could afford the procedures. </p>

<p>I found what seemed like a pretty reputable, clean practice and went in for the work. They performed a pulpectomy to remove some of the painful infected tissue and scheduled me for a complete root canal a week or so later. For the second appointment, I was scheduled with a different dentist than the first who was not able to get into all of the canals. Supposedly, my mouth is on the small side and two of the canals were partially blocked/calcified. I ended up being bumped in a couple days later with the original dentist to complete the root canal, and then came back a couple weeks later to have my crown fitted.</p>

<p>Overall, I really didn't experience any significant bite problems and virtually no pain or discomfort, until a few months ago. Suddenly, I began to experience a foul taste from underneath a gap between the crown and my gums, but still no pain or discomfort, and given I don't really have any money left to pay for more work, I figured I would deal with it because it was just a little icky. </p>

<p>However, just today I have started to experience pretty bad temperature sensitivity in the tooth. It's fine to chew on but when the food is hot or cold I feel a pretty sharp pain. I've never had this problem before today and I have a few questions if there is anyone who is a dentist or has had a similar experience. </p>

<p>-If I am feeling sensitivity now (despite not having any problems before), does this mean that the root/pulp were not completely removed?
-If there is a gap, does this mean my crown was not fitted correctly?
-Would the dental office that performed this procedure likely fix it with reduced or no charge, or is that just wishful thinking? I really don't have the money to pay to have it fixed. It's either my tooth or no books next year. :/</p>

<p>I'm not a dentist, and I have no real knowledge of anything dental ...</p>

<p>But, I do know a few horror stories about friends and friends of friends who ignored dental pain and ickiness, only to find themselves in pretty deep trouble. Seriously, one even involved amputations of their hands! Due to some serious infection that started in their mouth.</p>

<p>My opinion is that you should pay attention to what your tooth is trying to tell you. Pay for your books (or your tooth) on credit, if need be. But get thyself to the dentist!</p>

<p>(Of course, I'm not sure whether the dentist will offer you a reduced price. You can always ask. It will probably depend on whether your problem is related to his/her oversight or whether it's related to your choice to ignore the problem both before and after the original dental procedure.)</p>

<p>I wish you luck, Julie! Make that appointment!</p>

<p>You definitely have something going on that shouldn't be. It could be from any number of reasons. I would return to the dentist that did the work and have them check it out - depending on what they say will determine your response. But you should have it looked at. I think the tendency would be for the dentist to not repair it free of charge, but you can always ask or go for a second opinion.</p>

<p>I am not a dentist either, but if the gap you are referring to is because the crown is too low, a reputable dentist will replace it at their expense. They can check the gap by having you bite down on a blue paper like material to see if it leaves a mark on the tooth in question. Sometimes tooth sensitivity can appear after a tooth has been drilled upon. That tooth has been through a lot-- root canal and then prepped for a crown. They can provide you a toothpaste that is stronger than Sensodyne to help with this. It may or may not be anything more than what I just described. Don't ever put off going to the dentist. You only get one set of adult teeth in your lifetime!</p>

<p>errrr... a gap is definently not good. Despite what irritation may happen, i'd be more worried about the bactiria getting in there and reaking god knows what havok.</p>

<p>Did they check it afterward with the blue bitedownthingy? They should have...</p>

<p>The sensativity will go away with time, just have to grin and bear it.</p>

<p>Julie, if your dental insurance has maxed out for the year and the dentist wants to charge you more, you can look into going to a university dental school if you have one in your area. May be able to get fixed up at a greatly reduced price. Good luck and do not postpone getting this checked!</p>

<p>Please get the crown checked out. I am not a dentist, but I have several crowns and if you are anything like me, it could just be a loose crown, and you will get immediate relief once it is taken off and re-cemented if this is the case. Or, in a much scarier scenario, it could be an abscess forming, and you could end up very, very ill (even beyond the possibility of losing the tooth) if this is not treated right away. I would not wait to see whether the crown falls off on its own or you become very ill.</p>

<p>Please let us know that you have called a dentist (even at a dental school) and gotten in for an appointment.</p>

<p>I'm an aspiring dentist and have been interning at an office for the past four years.</p>

<p>Please go contact your dentist as soon as possible. Some dentists do re-cement/check out the tooth for free. When they work on the crown again, they should also give that area a thorough cleaning!! Talk to your dentist about your financial issues - tooth or books. From what I've learned from my dentist-mentor, many dentists WILL take this into consideration and either charge you later but do the work in your mouth now, give you a reduced price, or have you pay in installments over 12 months (or however long it takes to pay it off). </p>

<p>If things don't work out with your dentist, please try to find a way to get the tooth fixed ASAP! If theres a gap, there is a great chance you won't be getting the plaque out from under, and this is pretty dangerous for your tooth, especially if you just keep it hanging there with no dentist to look at it.</p>

<p>Please keep us posted, and I hope you can find a good solution!</p>

<p>Well, I'm a dentist with close to cough<em>thirty</em>cough years experience ;). I'll try to answer in general terms since I obviously can't see what's going on. My responses in italics.</p>

<p>-If I am feeling sensitivity now (despite not having any problems before), does this mean that the root/pulp were not completely removed?</p>

<p>*If a root canal was completed properly, by definition, there should be no temperature sensitivity in the tooth. Spontaneous pain, pain on pressure or biting can mean a failing RCT or cracked tooth.</p>

<p>Are you sure the temp sensitivity isn't coming from a neighboring tooth? I have seen that many times.*</p>

<p>-If there is a gap, does this mean my crown was not fitted correctly?</p>

<p>The edge of the crown should be flush with your tooth; if there's a gap between the tooth and gum or the crown and the adjacent tooth, that may be a different issue</p>

<p>-Would the dental office that performed this procedure likely fix it with reduced or no charge, or is that just wishful thinking? I really don't have the money to pay to have it fixed. It's either my tooth or no books next year. :/ </p>

<p>*If it is a problem with the work performed, almost all reputable dentists would not charge to correct it within a reasonable time frame. At any rate, I would start with the dentist who treated you and see him/her ASAP. If you don't feel comfortable with what he tells you, then seek a second opinion *</p>

<p>Many dentist's office also have some sort of outside credit plan you can use where you are not even asking them for a favour.</p>

<p>
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Would the dental office that performed this procedure likely fix it with reduced or no charge, or is that just wishful thinking?

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I'm also not a dentist but I have a lot of experience on the receiving end. :(</p>

<p>I was having some trouble from a root canal/crown where the crown came loose about a year later. The dentist went ahead and fixed it (of his own accord - no arm twisting needed) and didn't charge me anything for it since he said that he did it and since it's not working right he needs to fix it at no additional cost.</p>

<p>No matter what - go get it checked out right away before a smaller problem turns into a bigger one. Do try to see the same dentist and get him to correct any issues at no additional charge.</p>

<p>Hey, thanks for all of the responses. I'll try to address different pieces of advice:</p>

<p>-Paying for the tooth on credit or a payment plan probably isn't going to be likely, because I don't have the money now and likely won't six months from now. Also, I haven't been able to get approved for a credit card on my own accord, and my parents have absolutely abysmal credit so no help there. That being said, I could probably afford it if the repairs are less than $300 or so. I don't think my dental insurance is maxed out, but it only covered about half of my root canal/crown, and the rest I had to pay out of pocket. </p>

<p>
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Many dentist's office also have some sort of outside credit plan you can use where you are not even asking them for a favour.

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</p>

<p>Yeah, I know of these. I did not meet the requirements. :( </p>

<p>
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Are you sure the temp sensitivity isn't coming from a neighboring tooth? I have seen that many times.

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</p>

<p>Yeah, I checked for that. I held an ice chip up against the two neighboring teeth, and no pain. The moment I touched it to the crowned tooth: ouch! </p>

<p>
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The edge of the crown should be flush with your tooth; if there's a gap between the tooth and gum or the crown and the adjacent tooth, that may be a different issue

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</p>

<p>The gap I'm describing is between the bottom of the crown and my gum line on the side nearest to my tongue. When I bite down on it, sometimes it oozes a bit of a gross taste comparable to morning breath. Basically, I can stick a fingernail between my gum and the bottom of my crown there and feel underneath. </p>

<p>Essentially, what I'm planning to do at this point is schedule an appointment with the original dentist. I will try to do that this week but I have to talk to my grandma and work around her schedule because I can't get to the office where I had the work done via public transit (and a cab would probably cost 20 dollars one way). She's the only one in the family able to drive me there. I'll ask how much repair would cost and inform the dentist of my monetary limitations. Hopefully he will take responsibility of the work was not performed correctly and fix it, and if not, I may just have to deal with it unless the cost is within the limit of what I can afford.</p>

<p>My husband is a dentist and I work in his office. You should definitley go to your dentist and have him check the tooth immediatley. As someone said before, if there is a problem with the crown, any reputable dentist would correct the problem at no charge. </p>

<p>I am not sure if your general dentist did the root canal also or if you had a specialist do it. If a specialist (endodontist) did the root canal, you may want to start there to make sure there is not a problem with the root canal. Sometimes rootcanals need to be re-treated. They are not always 100% effective and sometimes have more like a 90 to 95% success rate (as in any kind of medicine). This is not the fault of the dentist or your own fault..it is just "science" which is unpredictable at best. Good luck!</p>