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Pain 1 year after root canal

User Level:
Posted by: ahrneely  (9 years ago)
Here's the short version of my store. I relocated to a different part of the country a few years ago. The closest dental office to me is one of those nation wide chains. I wasn't very picky so I started seeing the dentist there.

In July of 2009 I was in for a complaint of pain in what turned out to be #30. The dentist (Dentist #1) explained that a root canal was necessary and performed it on the spot. I had a temporary crown for a few days and went in for a permanent before the week was out.

Several weeks went by and the pain in the tooth had not lessened (pain from pressure of chewing, severe sensitivity to hot or cold liquids). I complained and the dentist coated the tooth with varnish hoping that might help seal it while it continued to heal.

The varnish wore off within a week and the pain came back. Back I went to Dentist #1. His only response after looking at another x-ray was that it seemed that everything was okay and that I should just give it a few months to heal.

When the time came around for my next 6 month checkup, Dentist #1 had transferred to another location and Dentist #2 arrived.

Again, I complained about the tooth, we did more x-rays and Dentist #2 said, everything looks fine, "Sometimes it takes up to a year for these things to heal."

Away I went again.

As the pain seems to be getting worse at time, I went in an additional time to complain about my chronic pain and the seeming lack of interest to help me.

So that I wouldn't have to pay for an additional visit, I was advised to wait until my next 6 month checkup to speak with the Dentist #2 again about the issue.

I did just that, we took more x-rays and Dentist #2 informed me that the root canal "just didn't take - and that happens sometimes, it isn't anything anyone did."

Then he also noticed a "bubble" in the gum below that same tooth to which he suggested it is "probably a bone fragment or something, and that happens sometimes too - we'll just watch it and see what happens".

As for the pain in the root canal, I'm being referred to an endodontist for advisement.

Here's my issue. After waiting a year for the root canal to finally heal, I'm being told my dentist's office can't do anything to help me, and are referring me to a specialist.

That's all fine and good, and even finding a new dentist after the fact is great, but what about paying for the tooth to be fixed properly.

Unfortunately, the dental insurance I have doesn't seem to cover much and the original procedure cost me something like $1500 out of pocked (not to mention all the additional x-rays to examine the tooth that was continually giving me problems).

I realize it isn't Dentist #2's fault that Dentist #1 seems to have performed a botched root canal and left him with the mess, but at the same time they do work for a nation wide corporation and I feel like there should be some accountability there.

I won't be able to afford the specialist, and in my eyes the original dentist's company (the nation wide chain) should pay for the correction. I liken it to taking your car into the body shop, having the mechanic replace head gaskets only to have one crack right away again and being asked to pay the fees a second time to have repaired what should have been done correctly in the first place.

Am I wrong? Should a root canal take a year to heal? Should I have simply been shuffled along for that long for someone to finally say, "it didn't take"? Shouldn't someone have noticed a "bone" lodged underneath my gum from the procedure long before a year was up?

I'm simply frustrated at the seeming lack of compassion, and while it is simply easier to say "find a new dentist to correct the problem" I don't feel that I should have to pay a new dentist to correct it (though I wouldn't let the original group correct something they may have screwed up in the first place).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
User Level:
Dear ahrneely!

I completely understand your frustration; you are absolutely right, a root canal procedure should be performed so there are no repercussions or negative aftereffects.

It is hard to say whether the root canal treatment was performed accurately and flawlessly. Also, I only have the description of the issue from one side, and not yet from the fellow dentists.

Moreover, your problem will not be solved by me working out potential causes therefore, you need solutions.

I suggest you watch the videos on here concerning root canal treatment. If you notice any irregularities with how your treatment was performed I would consult with dentist#1 directly regarding the issue. Try and establish exactly what led to your chronic pain and irritations after the root canal treatment.

Furthermore, if you thoroughly educate yourself on the matter at hand, you will be able understand the issues and ask pertinent questions which will help diagnose the problem and remedy it.

I think by communicating we can all come to an understanding and a positive outcome.

I wish you all the best!
LG M.C. Hurtarde
Posted 9 years ago
User Level:
Posted by: jawshock  (9 years ago)

I also had a root canal last January 2010. It was infected so after the surgery, I was in so much pain. After 1 and a half year, the tooth is still sensitive to pressure and it still hurts. The endodontist said, it might due to a missed canal or a possible fracture that does not show in X-ray. I agreed for a re-treatment which was scheduled next week.