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Dentistry/prolonged pain weeks after root canal, can you look at my x-rays and give advice?


first xray
first xray  

second xray
second xray  
I had a RCT of #29 three and a half weeks ago. The RCT was on a virgin tooth that had pain that felt like it was in the gum around the tooth to eating, especially sweet, hot, cold, but no decay.  It was impacting my life as I was unable to chew solid food on it and was afraid of eating, so I decided to get a root canal, even though they didn't see anything wrong on the original xray, the endodontist was confident that the tooth would be "much better feeling" afterwards.

Since the second the anesthesia wore off, the tooth has hurt 10x worse than before, but in a similar manner, just worse. I saw the referring dentist and the endodontist which was the one who did the root canal multiple times and they all say they don't know why it hurts so much. There was no infection prior, and they don't know why the RCT made it hurt so much more.

I am living on pain medicine and barely still getting relief. Can you please look at this xray and see if they can see anything? I am considering getting it extracted because of the pain but the endodontist keeps telling me to "hold on". If it were getting any better at all I would hold on, but I am in so much pain every second, I cannot live my life.  I am living on constant high doses of Ibuprofen which would be bad enough except it does not take the pain away! It just dulls it a slight bit. I am also rubbing ambesol on the gum which also just dulls the pain (probably by confusing the sensory nerves since the pain feels deeper than just the surface). I don't feel safe taking narcotic pain medicine because I am home alone with young children. So I just live in this horrible painful state day in and out, and keep waiting for it to get better but it's just not!

The general dentist said there might be a tiny overfill which might be causing irritation to the PDL, but the endo, looking at the same xray, says the root filling is confined inside the tooth and there is no overfill. I asked about retreatment and he said it would have no reason, as the root canal is fine.  The dentist says my only options at this point are to wait to see if it gets better, or extract it, and only I can make that choice.

I asked for the tooth to be taken out of occlusion and it has been.  I also am wearing a night guard at night which had been adjusted so the tooth also cannot touch.

Can someone help? If there was any visible reason that is causing this pain I would at least know extraction was the best thing to do. Extraction as a choice is just hard for me to consider it because the dentists are saying they can't see why the tooth hurts, and it's a visible tooth and I am young.

I will try to attach the two xrays I have.

Hi Priscilla,

I'm so sorry to hear all this is going on. Pain can really wear you done and just make getting through the day difficult and you have 2 small children as well. Before I try to help here, do you have any other symptoms beside this terrible pain, hot , cold, sweet, soreness to bite?


Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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