0 for 2 on root canals

My first root canal was on a lower right molar. The endodontist did not get it numb and I was in agony during the entire procedure. I do not recall being unable to eat or it affecting me long after that one day. I swore I’d never do another one, then double swore after I learned Bergman didn’t get it the canal all the way filled.

That old root canal bottom tooth, still feels off sometimes but the pain is more like a dull ache or pressure and doesn’t last. My dentist has said it may need a second correctly done root canal some point. I ended up buying not 1 cap but 3 darn caps for that before my current dentist made one that fit, would stay on, didn’t have a huge gap to collect food with every bite or hit the tooth above it. That bottom molar tooth had hurt for a long time before a dentist did a light test and confirmed a crack. That dentist was putting a cap on it when he over drilled and got into the pulp, the pain was bad and he said I had to go for a root canal ASAP.

Fast forward many many years. The molar tooth above that first root canal and cap started hurting about a year ago, I think they said was #3. My current dentist put some stuff on the outside since it was cold-sensitive and it was fine until right after Christmas, I started waking up with tooth pain.

Dec 28th, I went to my dentist and he said it showed signs of a dying root. Even though an infection was never mentioned with my lower molar, I was told the reason they might not have been able to get it numb was because of an infection. It kept getting a little worse so I considered just pulling it but was advised against not trying a root canal first. I decided to get it fixed so I didn’t end up sitting thru an hour-long painful root canal again. I asked friends who they used and I verified this time before I left they’d make sure they got all the way to end of the canal and the new endodontist told me they would not proceed if they couldn’t get it numb. I meant to get pics of both x-rays but I’ve forgotten every single time.

This endo had to have a pre-appointment evaluation. Not sure why. It was Jan 27th. The root canal was done Feb 3rd and this endo got it numb. 🙂 He said it did indeed have a very small crack. A crack that was small it was not seen on any x-ray by either person.

I ended up with lots of pain afterward that was worse than before the root canal.

I couldn’t tolerate anything touching anywhere near that tooth. I waited several days but it wasn’t getting better and when I had a pain shoot through the side of my face and up through my eyeball while trying to eat soup! 

Now, this was filled with permanent hard filling and I was supposed to make sure it was okay before getting a cap with instructions I should get the cap soon as possible. To think of my tooth like a rain barrel and nothing holding the edges together until the cap was in place. I can’t stand a toothbrush or even my tongue over there so there shouldn’t be a big risk to the “rain barrel” getting busted apart.

I went by the endodontist’s office to ask for it to be checked because of the pain, but I had to make another appointment for Feb 10th. I did ask if I was allergic to something they used to fill the canal with or if it was something different than in my first RC. He said it was inflamed and he put me on a low dose of prednisone. He did try to check for inclusion to see if my tooth was hitting but it hurts for my teeth to touch so I probably didn’t bite down enough on that paper.

The prednisone helped a LOT but on the last few days of the reducing pack, the pain started building again.

It was so much worse than before the root canal I started wondering if I had more than 4 roots on that tooth or if it was infected. No way I can have the permanent cap put on with it feeling so much worse than before the RC. I called the endo back Feb 21st. They told me to try to eat on that side and to give it more time! I felt totally brushed off, in a lot more pain, and unable to get the permanent cap and move on. I have been eating anti-inflammatories like crazy. It hurts with NOTHING touching it now. I can’t wear my grind night guard, I can’t even fit it in my mouth. I bought a cheap one but had to cut the back off so it just keeps my teeth from touching. It isn’t the fitted one to keep my teeth straight but I’m not cutting the expensive one.

I decided to call my dentist the same day. I know it’s not my dentist’s responsibility to stand behind his recommended endodontist but I really didn’t like basically being told, to give it more time and chew thru the pain. Something is NOT right.

My dentist got me in quickly on Feb 22nd and did another inclusion test and despite the pain, I bit down so he could get accurate proof if my teeth were hitting wrong. He took some off the tooth and/or filling. He looked at the endo’s x-rays and told me it was a “textbook” root canal. To give it more time, said it was still ireally nflamed but still showed no signs of an infection, and that I could be one of the few people with a reaction the root canal sealer where it causes an inflammatory response. (See links I read at the bottom)

I saw the x-ray at both places and the canal is filled to the point this time (unlike my bottom one from Bergman with a gap before the end) and has little white puffs at the end of the canals that I learned are sealer puffs. Apparently, some people can have a reaction to this sealer. I kept hearing the endo say he was going to use “gun” to fill it. Guess that is Gutta Percha. I don’t know the sealer used for the puffs but I will find out for sure so I NEVER get them again. I’ve read afterward more than I ever wanted to know about sealer puffs. Well, after being 0/2 in root canals I’ll likely just have the stupid tooth pulled unless it’s in the front.

So I can’t let any food go over there, it is so much worse 24/7 than it was before the textbook root canal and I can’t take antiinflammatories forever.

I was eating a baked potato, chewing only on my left when a piece of salt got over to my right side. PAIN! shot thru my eyeball and up by my ear. I didn’t realize your mouth made any kind of suction or put pressure on the roof of your mouth to swallow…until that hurts too. Really I can feel it in my tooth when I swallow.

I called my dentist back the next day and said I’d hit my final straw when it aches with nothing touching it and now hurts to swallow. I thanked him for listening to me when he’s not the one who did the RC. Again, he got me right in on March 9th. He took another x-ray and said I still had no signs of infection and decided to put on a temp crown with permanent bonding. One to keep it from moving as much and two, because you’re supposed to have a cap put on in a reasonable time after a root canal, but he did it with a cheaper temp plastic one in case it ends up in the garbage, plus it keeps me from having to pay for the real a permanent cap. I hope he knows how much I appreciate him working with me so I am not paying for a permanent crown on a tooth that I’ve been told only has the option of being extracted if the pain doesn’t stop.

He said people having a reaction to the root canal sealer is not common but he’s pretty certain that is what my problem is. He says eventually my body will absorb it. I tried to read online about how long that might take but I wonder, if it’s a good thing for your body to absorb something it obviously takes issue with? I read it depends on the sealer used, how much and how much of an inflammatory response each individual is having to it.

My body pushes out dissolvable stitches, sometimes many, many months later. Maybe I should’ve told them that? Maybe that kind of tidbit wouldn’t have made a difference. like I expected it to be 100% pain-free immediately. At this point, I wish I’d just had it pulled but they said that has its own set of problems too.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Just wait to see how long it takes my body to absorb these 4 itty bitty amounts of sealer puffs that are making the whole right side of my face hurt or what? Hope it’s just the 4 little puffs and Gutta Percha is the same thing used on my first root canal and I’m not having an issue with the entire root canal filling in addition to the sealer. I guess my only other option would be to quit waiting, have the tooth I just paid to save, ripped out, the sealant washed away and an implant put in.

I had this done basically right away to avoid issues and I feel like I can’t win. I do wonder why stuff doesn’t just go “normal” for me. I am beyond frustrated. I thought I’d share because I had no idea this was possible. Hope it helps at least one person.

It still needs the last step, either the permanent cap or extraction and implant. I will not live with it this bad affecting every day forever.

Update: March 16 (basically 6 weeks) I called just to let the endo know what my dentist had done and to tell them I was in pain 24/7. They said come back they’d do another 3d x-ray and look. I wasn’t really sure the point of that but I went anyway. The endo agreed that some people just have a major inflammatory response to the sealer or the really small crack could’ve extended farther. He said if I had to have it pulled, they’d refund the root canal. Not sure if there was a time limit on that if I want to see if my body will hurry up and absorb the sealer. That was nice, especially since it’s not his fault. I also like that both of them did not try to prescribe antibiotics when there was no signs of infection! Wouldn’t have done them any good, but it makes me respect them for not suggesting it. Unlike my first RC that was done wrong, this one was done right my body just hates the sealer. I did ask what sealer he used so I never had it again, it is a BC Bioceramic sealer but he said another my body may or may not ever react the same again. He said no point being in pain any longer, and he’d just pull it. I have a HUGE problem with needles and he said I’d be referred to an oral surgeon and be put to sleep. He also said that it won’t cause any damage if I can stand it to tough it out and wait to see if my body’s inflammatory response chills out. They didn’t do another xray and he wouldn’t give me a guess on the time frame. 😦 I do wonder how they attach the implant and wonder if my body will have a problem with any material used for that?

He is going to call my dentist and suggest the temp cap I had put on last week with permanent bond come off so there’s a big gap and my teeth have no chance of touching. Since it hurts with nothing touching it, AND I read your salvia can cause an infection I don’t love that idea either. I may try to just take LOTS of anti-inflammatories and hope the pain stops before my liver, or whatever organ doesn’t like high doses of anti-inflammatories gives out. I have a nice case of poison ivy. I should’ve asked for a prednisone refill if I was going to try to tough this thing out to avoid another needle and all that goes with an extraction and implant.

I know all this ibuprofen, naproxen and prednisone is making my tinnitus crank up louder. I’d love to make my favorite comfort food (Brownies) but think I’ll look into what foods are natural anti-inflammatory. Today is a rain day so that worked out well having the appointment today when it didn’t pull me away from working on the land. I hope to squeeze in a nap between cleaning the house and making dinner. You know all work actually gets stuff done even if it exhausts you.

Read this after I got home, it is not very encouraging “In contrast, bioceramic sealers expand slightly during setting (typically less than 0.2% of total volume) and, once set, will not resorb as readily as calcium hydroxide and zinc-oxide eugenol-based sealers.” and ” However, one major disadvantage of these materials is in the difficulty in removing them from the root canal once they are set for later retreatment or post-space preparation”


We are still trying to work on the land while we WAIT (since about Dec) on the well guy and the Duke Power guy cause we can’t really start on the actual house until those 2 things are done. I’ve been able to get our taxes done but it’s gonna be summer before too long and I’d love it if we had a roof on before then so we’re not working under the sun every day and so we have some protection from afternoon showers. The well truck has to drive over the house site to get the well in and we have to have power across a bit of someone else’s property to get a temp pole up, well that and before we actually start we need to know we can get water and power. Prices are still going up and up. The delays are still there. It’s MONTHS to get trusses, windows, and doors. All the stuff you need to get the house dried in and locked up.

If you enjoyed this post, my cover design or photography -please share. If you’d like to follow my blog, (which includes pet food recalls) and get an email when I post, just click on the “follow” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the page or on the homepage.  You enter your email address, and you’ll receive an email confirmation in return. I do NOT share email addresses. To learn more about my book cover design, photography or the books I’ve authored— my first homepage on this site has all the links.

2 thoughts on “0 for 2 on root canals

  1. Kate Crimmins

    OMG! I am so sorry! I have at least 5 root canals in my mouth and none of them were like that. The first one wasn’t a walk in the park because it was the 70s and the technology is so much better. The last ones were done by my regular dentist and went easy. There is nothing like tooth pain. Before I had the first one, I had so much pain the dentist referred me to a specialist to have it removed (like pulled out!). That dentist looked and recommended a root canal because I was too young to have teeth pulled. I remember the test he did was to put an ice cube on the tooth. I went through the roof. He tried to repeat that and I told him I would kill him if he touched me with that ice cube (I’m not that kind of person!). There is always achiness with root canals but nothing like what you are going through. I’m sorry about your house too. We had some of that with renovations. It was frustrating to live with it going on. We are finishing up now with carpets and finishing touches. There is another big inside project but there is no way I’m doing it now. It’s our master bath and we can live with it the way it is. Sending you hugs and I hope the tooth thing settles out. I know the shooting pain to the eye feeling.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s