Dentistry/tooth pain


I add 2 cavities on my lower back molars(both sides) a month ago, since then I've experienced pain a number of different ways.  In the last couple weeks they have seemed to be improving and over the last week I have stopped taking advil or any pain medicine.  I've gotten to the point that they only hurt when I eat hotter foods, so I seem to be able to eat colder tougher foods, but if I try to eat hotter foods, and only some hotter foods, my teeth on both sides become painful, steadily building until I stop and let them rest.  It's not a sharp pain, but definitely a pain.  Based on reading the internet I've found that heat sensitivity like this probably means I'll need a root canal.  My dentist believes that I have very sensitive nerves and he doesn't believe I'll need a root canal.  I don't know what to think.  Should I give it more time?  Every day I think it's getting better then I'll eat something hotter and it will cause more intense pain and it will make me want to rush out and get a root canal.  It then subsides after a few minutes and I'm left wondering if it's improving or I'm just delaying the inevitable.

Dear Tom,

I would listen to your dentist.  You may be delaying the inevitable, but you can have a root canal done at any time.

Back in the olden days, a hot tooth got a root canal.  Today we know that tooth nerves can heal given time.  They don't always, but they can.

I would recommend a soft lukewarm  or cold diet for one week.  Do not test with hot for one week.  If you tend to clench your teeth or chew gum, stop.  During this period, take 2 Advil every 6 hours.  This will help reduce the inflammation inside the teeth and help them heal.

My preference is to avoid the root canal if at all possible.  If all else fails, you can decide if and when to get a root canal.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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