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Former Endodontist missed nerve during root canal...

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: stephanieingulfshores  (7 years ago)
Hi there! I have a tooth (#3) that had a root canal done on it about 15 years ago when I lived in Ohio. Over the years, I would say about once every 2 or 3 years, I would get a throbbing sensation for about a day in that tooth but didn't think anything of it because it had a root canal....it can't go bad, I thought! Well fast forward to last month when I had a 4 day spell of the same tooth causing havoc on me, throbbing and hurting to bite down on that side. I googled it and of course found that there can be problems with root canals years later. I had some antibiotic leftover from an illness and took those for about 2 days and the pain finally went away. Well about 3 weeks ago the pain came back with a vengeance and wouldn't go away. I went to my regular dentist here in Alabama where I live now and he took an X-ray and said that there was a nerve that the endodontist missed. He gave me a hefty course of antibiotics to try and see if that would work, but it is coming back. My question is, what would a dentist recommend that I do about this regarding the endodontist missing the nerve? Shouldn't they be expected to get them all. I hate the idea of paying for a whole new root canal when she should have had got them all the first time. I now live 700+ miles away from her but if the standard protocol in this situation would be for her to fix her mistake at her expense, it would be worth the cost of the trip to get that done. I know the last root canal was in the ballpark of 1K which I really don't have to spare. Any thoughts on what route I should take would be appreciated.
User Level:
Dentist
Hi there! I have a tooth (#3) that had a root canal done on it about 15 years ago when I lived in Ohio. Over the years, I would say about once every 2 or 3 years, I would get a throbbing sensation for about a day in that tooth but didn't think anything of it because it had a root canal....it can't go bad, I thought! Well fast forward to last month when I had a 4 day spell of the same tooth causing havoc on me, throbbing and hurting to bite down on that side. I googled it and of course found that there can be problems with root canals years later. I had some antibiotic leftover from an illness and took those for about 2 days and the pain finally went away. Well about 3 weeks ago the pain came back with a vengeance and wouldn't go away. I went to my regular dentist here in Alabama where I live now and he took an X-ray and said that there was a nerve that the endodontist missed. He gave me a hefty course of antibiotics to try and see if that would work, but it is coming back. My question is, what would a dentist recommend that I do about this regarding the endodontist missing the nerve? Shouldn't they be expected to get them all. I hate the idea of paying for a whole new root canal when she should have had got them all the first time. I now live 700+ miles away from her but if the standard protocol in this situation would be for her to fix her mistake at her expense, it would be worth the cost of the trip to get that done. I know the last root canal was in the ballpark of 1K which I really don't have to spare. Any thoughts on what route I should take would be appreciated.

You cannot really know with certainty if a nerve was missed from an x-ray. Occasionally it happens, but not often with specialists. Another possibility is the root may be fractured. I know patients want all treatment to be 100% perfect and 100% successful but in reality it is impossible in medicine or dentistry.

80% of the time retreats are successful. So go for it. Quit dosing yourself on antibiotics or the bacteria will build up resistance and they won't work anymore.
Posted 7 years ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: stephanieingulfshores  (7 years ago)
Well, he showed me the x-ray and there is a nerve that is only filled at half. It's as plain as day. All the other nerves are filled completely but this one only goes half way up.
User Level:
Dentist
Well, he showed me the x-ray and there is a nerve that is only filled at half. It's as plain as day. All the other nerves are filled completely but this one only goes half way up.

Often a fourth canal is not as long as the others, and it appears as a short fill. If it is indeed a short fill, I guarantee you the reason it was filled short is the canal was blocked. So probalby NOBODY can get the fill any longer.

An option is an apicoectomy. This means cutting that root off to the point where the fill ended, and possibly grafting the bone after surgery. Since it is one-appointment procedure, possibly your endodontist will do it for you for a reduced fee.
Posted 7 years ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: stephanieingulfshores  (7 years ago)
Thank you for the response!
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