I had a root canal several weeks ago. The tooth felt a tiny bit better but never normal. The pain has slowly been increasing again and now hurts like mad. My dentist did x-rays and said the tooth is fine and I should see a neurologist. I don’t think I’m imagining this. What can I do?
Because I haven’t examined your tooth, I can’t give you a definitive answer, but can give you some possibilities that could point you in the right direction.
Toothache from Referred Pain
Sometimes where we feel the pain isn’t where the pain is originating. It can be the tooth on the arch below it or a nearby tooth. If it is your upper arch, you could actually be dealing with a sinus infection. Our sinus cavities are very near the roots of our teeth.
Toothache from Nueralgia
When the dentist suggested you see a neurologist, it doesn’t mean that he thinks the pain is in your head. It is not uncommon for a nerve to cause tooth pain. Seeing a doctor who can properly diagnosis this can be helpful. It wouldn’t be the first place I’d go, but if everything else fails, don’t rule it out.
Toothache from Misdiagnosis
It is also possible that your dentist misread the x-ray or didn’t listen carefully enough to explore other options that could be causing your pain. If this is the case, you’ll need a second opinion.
How to Get a Good Second Opinion from Another Dentist
When you get your second opinion, just tell them when you had your root canal treatment and what your symptoms are now. You can also bring your x-rays, though they may want to take their own as well if they think the problem may actually be in a different area.
What you don’t want to do is tell them who your dentist is and what his opinion of the tooth was. You want their unbiased opinion. One of the reasons for that is you don’t want your dentist’s diagnosis to sway them or, worse, colleagues sometimes don’t want to speak against a colleague they know. If they ask, tell them you just want their thought, nothing else.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.