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Pain under Bridge - Root Canal possible?

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: FxrGuy  (7 years ago)
New here so perhaps this has already been answered. I have an old bridge that crosses a single upper front tooth (+15 yrs ago). My old dentist which I really liked moved to another city so went to a new dentist that said there is decay and I should replace the bridge at a cost of over 4 - 5K. He said there was some minor gum swelling and I had asked about an option for a root canal but he did not really give me an answer. With no dental insurance, I decided against it for now even though this dentist said the procedure should be done soon.

After this, I bought a Waterpik and this really helped keep it clean and brought down the swelling. I went one more time 5 months later for cleaning and ex-rays which did not show anything out of the ordinary. This last checkup was about 5-6 months ago.

Seems to have held up well and have had no problems but today there is some slight but rather rapid discomfort or throbbing below tooth that holds bridge so maybe it is now time to do something. I did some extra tough flossing under the bridge and waterpiked it extra good this morning so perhaps it is just sore from this? My question is, if it does not settle down - is it possible to do a Root canal without removing the bridge? On a budget as most are. Thanks for any answers, comments or recommendations.
User Level:
Dentist
New here so perhaps this has already been answered. I have an old bridge that crosses a single upper front tooth (+15 yrs ago). My old dentist which I really liked moved to another city so went to a new dentist that said there is decay and I should replace the bridge at a cost of over 4 - 5K. He said there was some minor gum swelling and I had asked about an option for a root canal but he did not really give me an answer. With no dental insurance, I decided against it for now even though this dentist said the procedure should be done soon.

After this, I bought a Waterpik and this really helped keep it clean and brought down the swelling. I went one more time 5 months later for cleaning and ex-rays which did not show anything out of the ordinary. This last checkup was about 5-6 months ago.

Seems to have held up well and have had no problems but today there is some slight but rather rapid discomfort or throbbing below tooth that holds bridge so maybe it is now time to do something. I did some extra tough flossing under the bridge and waterpiked it extra good this morning so perhaps it is just sore from this? My question is, if it does not settle down - is it possible to do a Root canal without removing the bridge? On a budget as most are. Thanks for any answers, comments or recommendations.


We drill through bridge abutments fairly regularly to do root canals. It does weaken the tooth somewhat, so I usually fabricate a cast post to cement inside when the root canal is done. If your dentist does not want to do this, perhaps an endodontist will.

If there is decay around the abuttment crown, that adds to the complication. It may be why your dentist wanted to replace the whole bridge.

Another diagnostic possibility is a gum pocket around one of the teeth.

My suggestion is to have a frank discussion with your dentist about why a root canal cannot be done through the bridge abuttment. Seek a referral if it is possible, if the problem is he just does not want to do this difficult task.
Posted 7 years ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: FxrGuy  (7 years ago)
Thank you Dr. Henry. That makes perfect sense. I may need a new bridge for sure. As of now, no real pain. No swelling or any redness, just seems to be a very light sensation of something pushing against it near where my nostril begins. I have a Dentist appointment with a new dentist next week. If Xray confirms, hoping to get the root done first to save the tooth and then work on the new bridge when finances permit - if that sequence will be doable. Thanks again.
User Level:
Dentist
Thank you Dr. Henry. That makes perfect sense. I may need a new bridge for sure. As of now, no real pain. No swelling or any redness, just seems to be a very light sensation of something pushing against it near where my nostril begins. I have a Dentist appointment with a new dentist next week. If Xray confirms, hoping to get the root done first to save the tooth and then work on the new bridge when finances permit - if that sequence will be doable. Thanks again.

You see the disadvantages of a bridge. When something goes wrong with part of it, all of it may be at risk. If it is indeed necessary to replace the bridge after the root canal, now may be the time to think about having an implant to replace the missing tooth. That will enable the two teeth on either side to be merely single crowns. Maintenance will be a lot less hassle.
Posted 7 years ago
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