Trouble with a root canal treatment

I’m very frustrated with my recent root canal! I’m still having some pain when my teeth touch.

Here’s the history: I had crowns put on both #7 and #10 (lateral incisors) with no pain. I wore the temporary crowns for 2 wks with no pain or discomfort, but after the crowns were place, #10 began to hurt. I went 1 month with the pain and had several adjustments on my own bottom teeth and the new crowns. Finally the doctor did a root canal on # 10. This solved the cold sensitivity, but there is still pain. I’m not sure what to do. I’ve lost my trust in my dentist over all this. I don’t know if its an infection or something. I still have cold sensativity in #7 also but was told to wait another month after yet another adjustment. Help!
– Ann from California

Dear Ann,
These lateral incisors are thin teeth, and it’s very easy for them to get over sensitive with a new crown, and sometimes they end up needing root canal treatments.

There are several possible explanations for your pain. It could be that there is still infection present even after the root canal treatment. Sometimes biting sensitivity can also be caused by gum irritation, provoked either by a poorly fitting dental crown or sensitivity to the metal in the crown. It could be a bite problem.

If you’ve lost confidence in your dentist, I would suggest getting a second opinion. But I would encourage asking for a “blind” second opinion. You don’t need to tell the second dentist about your frustrations or too much of your history because that invites a diagnosis that tells you what you want to hear. Just tell them about your symptoms, how long you’ve had the crown and the root canal, and see what they find.

Tooth space seems funny after extraction

I had a root canal on the upper 1st & 2nd molars 2 years ago; both crowns recently broke off at the gum line. My oral surgeon extracted both teeth but did not raise a flap. When I touch the hole left behind there is still a hard piece left embedded. It is not hurting but I want to get an implant. Does this piece have to be removed?

Vrajesh from India

I’m not sure I understand what you mean by a hard piece left behind, and I don’t know how much bone is left for supporting a dental implant. But maybe I can help by explaining a little about the healing process after an extraction.

A tooth extraction will leave a hole, and there will often be sharp edges of bone because the tooth is gone. Over a period of weeks and even months, your body will re-shape that bone to be smooth, and will fill in the socket of the missing teeth with new bone. During that time, there can still be an open hole which will probably collect food debris and have a bad taste to it.

A dental implant is an excellent option for replacing a missing tooth. With no tooth in the space, your body will gradually resorb the bone that used to hold the tooth in place. An implant prevents this bone loss.