Post root canal nightmare..Help me!!

  1. Hi folks,
    Well...to make a long story short..I had a root canal done on my right back lower molar in January. The dentist filled it with a temp. filling and wanted me to let it heal for 4 to 6 weeks before fitting me for the temp. crown...(and wait for the stupid insurance to approve the whole thing). Anyways...it was doing just great until I bit into a gritty thing (unexpectedly) in the clam strip I was eating. I heard a crack and the tooth was hurting me. I went to get it checked out today and the x-ray showed the tooth is cracked all the way down to the jaw bone.....luckily though...it made a Z ...and missed the "root canal area" , whatever that means? Anyways.....he said I could try and have the perm. crown placed...but he can't promise that there isn't a microscopic crack near the root area. He said if that's the case......the tooth may end up hurting again and have to be pulled anyways. So..I can chance that or just have the thing pulled and either leave it (think trailer park hillbilly) or I can have it pulled and do a two or three tooth bridge????, or have a dental implant placed. He's also not promising that he can get the tooth out....hence, I would be referred to an oral surgeon. All of this is soooo unfortunate and I just don't know what to do. If I go ahead with the (500 dollar) crown and it doesn't work....then I risk losing the crown and the 500 dollars...and the tooth. I guess I'm leaning towards trying to save the tooth..but I'm not sure...it's such a gamble..errrrr. Anyone have a similar experience with this...can you help shed some light on this for me. God...my dental insurance sucks!! Anyways..any advice is much appreciated....
    Luv,
    "toothless" Snoop'
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   iliel
    I would have the tooth pulled by an OS and an implant placed, they are so worth the money. your insurance won't cover it but it's better than grinding down two perfectly good teeth to place a bridge over. Plus, with an implant your bone won't receed like it will if nothing is there.
  4. by   luvbbs
    I would have to agree with iliel, just have it pulled and get the implant. I had a root canal and crown place on same tooth about 2 yrs ago, since then I have had to replace the crown twice and endure pain just about everyday! I have invested ALOT of money on one tooth and I wish I would have just had the dang thing pulled and then forked over the money for the implant. I was to cheap at the time but now I have paid for 3 crowns. It is a nightmare. Spend the extra money upfront and save yourself and your pocket book a ton of money in the long run.
  5. by   manna
    I think Iliel is the certified allnurses-dental-stuff expert, so I'd take her word for it LOL.

    I'm terrified of dentists/dental work, so just reading your post made me shiver. Good luck!
  6. by   MEL101
    How far back is the affected molar? Not necessary to keep " back" molars on both sides....one can always chew on one side...you may have to take it easy as far as "hard" foods, ie, popcorn kernals etc in the future esp if theres a Hx of fractures in your family...I've had back molars pulled w/o major trauma and experienced no problem after healing...my suggestion, have it pulled and forget the bridge unless you need it for cosmetic reasons...Good luck....

    Mel




    Quote from IloveSnoopy
    Hi folks,
    Well...to make a long story short..I had a root canal done on my right back lower molar in January. The dentist filled it with a temp. filling and wanted me to let it heal for 4 to 6 weeks before fitting me for the temp. crown...(and wait for the stupid insurance to approve the whole thing). Anyways...it was doing just great until I bit into a gritty thing (unexpectedly) in the clam strip I was eating. I heard a crack and the tooth was hurting me. I went to get it checked out today and the x-ray showed the tooth is cracked all the way down to the jaw bone.....luckily though...it made a Z ...and missed the "root canal area" , whatever that means? Anyways.....he said I could try and have the perm. crown placed...but he can't promise that there isn't a microscopic crack near the root area. He said if that's the case......the tooth may end up hurting again and have to be pulled anyways. So..I can chance that or just have the thing pulled and either leave it (think trailer park hillbilly) or I can have it pulled and do a two or three tooth bridge????, or have a dental implant placed. He's also not promising that he can get the tooth out....hence, I would be referred to an oral surgeon. All of this is soooo unfortunate and I just don't know what to do. If I go ahead with the (500 dollar) crown and it doesn't work....then I risk losing the crown and the 500 dollars...and the tooth. I guess I'm leaning towards trying to save the tooth..but I'm not sure...it's such a gamble..errrrr. Anyone have a similar experience with this...can you help shed some light on this for me. God...my dental insurance sucks!! Anyways..any advice is much appreciated....
    Luv,
    "toothless" Snoop'
  7. by   Tweety
    The implant might be a good idea but realize that they cost $2,500. I'm in the process of getting one. Almost not worth it, but for where the tooth is located, I really want and need a tooth there. Dental insurance doesn't pay for implants.
  8. by   iliel
    Nope, sorry, I don't agree with having a tooth pulled...even a molar...and not doing anything about it. You only get one set of teeth in your life, try to save everyone! Once you pull that tooth and the bone goes away, if you ever want to replace it you;ll need a bone graft...not expensive, but it is an added cost and no bone is as good as your own. Besides, you'll never know when you'll need that tooth. Also, if you pull one tooth and do nothing the other teeth will drift. The opposing tooth will start to move up or down because it needs to come in contact with some thing. If you ever end up with dentures down the line they will never fit because the bone will be gone.
    Implants run around 1500 (here in Vegas), the crown that goes over them is around 1000. But, it's worth every penny in the lond run!
  9. by   kc ccurn
    Yikes this is hitting too close to home. I had a crown for almost 16 years on a back molar. Last year I had to choose between a bridge and implant. I wish I had gone for the implant. The bridge was a nightmare. No matter how many shots of novicane (over a 100) and some lidocaine I couldn't get numb enough for my dentist to drill to shape the nubs for the bridge. I ended up needing conscious sedation in order for the dentist to do ( I even started my own IV because the dentist couldn't get it after 6 sticks). It was a nightmare. My dentist felt so bad that he didn't charge me for the conscous sedation and he and his assist gave me a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory -ymmm!

    Well, dread, don't you know at my check up before christmas he said that there is a small opening at the base of one of the bridge teeth that is open and so I need to get a new bridge placed because the first one doesn't fit right(at his cost of course).

    I did a curbside second opinion with a oral surgeon in the ICU and he said that I really did need to have a new bridge placed for the 1 mm size mal alignment.

    So tomorrow I go back in. Does anyone know if Percocet interacts with the novacaine/lidocaine? I am seriously considering self medicating before I go in, I am petrified to go back in because I am a baby when it comes to teeth.
  10. by   IloveSnoopy
    Well...
    I slept on the whole situation overnight and I guess I have decided to try and keep the tooth and just have the permanent crown placed (as originally planned before the fracture). I'm a big believer in trying to keep your original teeth if at all possible....(even though he pulled part of the cracked fragment out already). He said I could cap it...and never have problems with it again....OR....it could bother me and then I would end up having it pulled. He did say if I end up getting it pulled...I could just leave it...but he did mention that the top tooth might have to be pulled someday then too....because it would move down from lack of contact with the missing bottom one. I'm going to gamble on it and just try to cover it with a crown. The replacement for the missing tooth just sounds like too big of a battle for me right now. Granted...it may come to that anyway someday... He said in his opinion...the tooth could be "quite save-able" due to the location of the fracture not affecting the "root area". I'm all confused about that though... I thought a root canal ....removes the roots and kills the tooth...why then does a fracture in the root area matter?? He said it could be difficult too..because the fracture goes way down to the bone line.....I guess he'll have to try to extend the crown down further which he said could irritate my gums. God..this whole thing just sucks...big time!!! Those damn clam strips anyways!!!! The sad part is.......I didn't even think I needed a root canal in the first place.....the tooth never bothered me once....now look at where I've ended up.....geesh! Ok..guys..thanks so much for all your comments... KC...good luck with your procedure..I'll be thinking about you. My dentist is soooooo good at hitting the exact areas needed to numb the area.....I haven't felt any of this..which is good. I must admit..I got a little wooozy yesterday morning....I had worked all night...was tired..hungry...and then here he comes with this big pliers thing...(to pull the fragment out)...he had to crank on it really hard and finally it let loose and the pliers flew back and hit all my front top teeth...ouch...luckily it didn't hurt them....that would be just my flippin luck........to have him knock out my front teeth in the process....oh god..I can't even think about it.......eeek...
    ok..thanks again folks...
    Snoop'
  11. by   IloveSnoopy
    P.S: "Once you pull a tooth, you can never have it back".......food for thought...
    snoop'
  12. by   iliel
    A root canal removes the blood supply and nerves that come up through the root and into the pulp chamber. These are vital to keeping the tooth alive but you still can keep the tooth. we call it a root canal because you have to open the tooth to the pulp chamber and then go down into the roots to remove the blood supply and nerves...your root is still there..it's what's keeping your tooth in your jaw.

    The only time a tooth that needs a root canal will bother you is when the infection is BAD! cavities don't hurt but they can go very deep into the tooth and involve the nerve...you can't let this go, you'll end up worse off than you are now. After a root canal a tooth is always more likely to break.

    Go ahead and get the crown but stay away from that tooth as much as you can and plan for it to fail in the future. I'm sure your DDS will tell you this tooth can last you a week or it can last you 10 years, it's a risk but may save you time.

    Never, ever, ever pull a tooth. It's such a bad idea, I've seen this come back to bite ppl in the arse a number of times.
    Good luck!

    Iliel...registered dental assistant
  13. by   IloveSnoopy
    Iliel,
    Thank you soooooo much for all of your advice!!! I know I might be taking a gamble with putting a crown on....but I really don't want the tooth pulled. I didn't realize that I was talking to a "true expert"..LOL...thanks again...
    Luv snoop'
  14. by   Geeg
    Get the implant. Why compromise the health of your gums and maybe other teeth, just to save one tooth that is already diseased or at the very least ineffectual.

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