Dentistry/jaw pain


Dr. Kaufman,
I hope you can help me.  I sometimes get this very terrible pain in my left front lower tooth/jaw area.  It feels like a quick electric schock.  Sometimes when I am eating but sometimes not.  Sometimes it goes away for months then comes back.  I had a dentist look at this and he thought it was coming from a tooth in that area that has a very old filling in it that covers most of the tooth.  Because it can't be removed, he suggested a crown or a cap.  But I am not sure this is coming from the tooth?
Have you heard of this problem before?  It hurts terrible.
Thank you.

Dear Leah:
I am sorry to hear of your pain.  There is actually a condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN).  It manifests itself in pain of an unknown origin and can be triggered by anything and can mimic as tooth ache.
My advice to you is to do no dentistry at this time.  Placing a crown on a tooth will not make the pain go away, unless there is a fracture in the tooth.  You need to have a proper diagnosis first, BEFORE any work to be done.  
Go see an Endodontist, the root canal specialist.  Goto and look up a specialist near you.  Let the endodontist evaluate the teeth in your mouth and see if the pain is related to any tooth at all.  A cracked tooth will have other symptoms aside of pain that comes and goes every few months.  If this pain IS NOT tooth related, then let the endodontist recommend an oral surgeon in your area who deals with Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Please keep me informed.  I would love to know how this turns out.

Best Of Luck,  


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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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