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Root canal problems


MarkW
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So, my wife is looking at me as if I've gone completely mad for asking dental questions on a motorbike forum, but what the hell...


About 15 years ago I had a root canal done on one of my molars. The whole side of the tooth sheared off about 5 years ago, and after having it built up with amalgam there's now more filling than tooth. It used to give me a bit of discomfort when I dived, especially if I'd been down for a while, but other than that is was OK. But recently (by which I mean the last couple of years) I've noticed that whenever I get a bad headache the tooth aches as well. I don't know which is causing the other, but I am tempted to have the damn thing pulled out and be done with it. As far as I can tell the jury is out about whether root canals can cause other health problems, and if I wanted it replacing the only option the dentist would advise is an implant, due to the bite force on the back teeth. They did suggest an exploratory drilling to see what was going on, but there's so little of the original tooth left there doesn't seem much point.


Has anyone had a root canal replaced with an implant, and was it an improvement?

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I've become a bit of an expert in this area LOL...


With the pulp removed, the only thing that could really be causing problems are;


A) Fractures in the tooth. This would cause pain upon pressure, it could be in the root and if you press hard on the gum, could cause pain. If this is the case, extraction is the treatment. Do you grind your teeth at night? This could be an example of why the root would have a fracture over time.


B) Infection of tissue. The tooth is non-vital but is still open for feeding bacteria. Anti-biotics would be the treatment. This is the one likely to be linked (if there is a link) with the headache since the bacteria and infection spreads to other parts and causes pain there.

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In my experience they just don't work

They can only go so long without having a supply of blood and minerals etc :lol:


Once you take away the nerve it's dead and won't last forever.

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So, my wife is looking at me as if I've gone completely mad for asking dental questions on a motorbike forum, but what the hell...


About 15 years ago I had a root canal done on one of my molars. The whole side of the tooth sheared off about 5 years ago, and after having it built up with amalgam there's now more filling than tooth. It used to give me a bit of discomfort when I dived, especially if I'd been down for a while, but other than that is was OK. But recently (by which I mean the last couple of years) I've noticed that whenever I get a bad headache the tooth aches as well. I don't know which is causing the other, but I am tempted to have the damn thing pulled out and be done with it. As far as I can tell the jury is out about whether root canals can cause other health problems, and if I wanted it replacing the only option the dentist would advise is an implant, due to the bite force on the back teeth. They did suggest an exploratory drilling to see what was going on, but there's so little of the original tooth left there doesn't seem much point.


Has anyone had a root canal replaced with an implant, and was it an improvement?


Oh yesh, I f**king love teef!

As what Phil said to an extent - did you have the treatment done on the NHS? The tools are extremely limited and you could have a bit of nerve left/dying/infected causing you agro. You could have some decay under the filling, the filling could be leaking, the filling could have a fracture... Tbh, a root canal lasting 15 years isn't bad, esp considering you are missing so much tooth - though root canals can last a lifetime if you're lucky. There is the potential of having a crown, but even on the NHS that is a band 3 tmt costing around £220. Implants are your best replacement - worth every penny. They rarely fail, when I used to nurse for impant surgeries 4/5 years ago they cost approx £2k - I know everyone's gonne be like "WTF, for a TOOTH!" but they are worth every penny (btw, the parts are v expensive, the hardcore 3D dental software is expensive, the time spent, the runnings of a practice - the prices are justified, no matter what people rant about dentists say!). The amount of people who say it is just awful losing a tooth - particularly if it is your 1st molar (i.e - not one at the end) as food will get stuck and it will be uncomfortable without it. Also, over years you will get bone recession, which will look something like this (there are 2 teef missing in this pic, but you get the idea - also note the dark areas from gum recession around the crowned teeth above that you don't get with implants);

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/Boneloss2teeth_zps5d4bbaf0.jpg


It really is just like having a tooth again, except nothing can go wrong, unless you're one of the rare small percentage whose body reject it, but it really is rare (yaay this is my picture :mrgreen: );

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/Mine-implant_zpsfc344573.jpg


If you can, do it. Most practices offer 1 year interest-free payment plans, or 2-3 year small interest plans. Make sure you get it done by someone with experience. But not the end of the world if you don't replace it. Speak to your dentist - may be worth them doing some exploration - depends how you feel about it. Highly recommend not getting a bridge, but they are less likely to offer it as it damages the adjacent teeth and will be too much force applied and need replacing after so many years - usually a private option of £400+. If they could offer you a partial denture, which for a similar reason I doubt they will, remember it's the same cost as a crown and you will need several replacements as the bone receeds over the years - making money spent on that worth having spent towards an implant instead:

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/Partiallowerdenture2_zps42ca0db6.jpg


Good luck and let us know the outcome :mrgreen: . Also - what would I do? Take the dentist's advice - though ask them what they would do if it were their tooth so you know the exploration is more of a valid possibility than a shot in the dark - (s)he is the expert. If there is the possibility of having a crown it may be worth it - much more stable and long-lasting than a filling, in which case you will want them to do the exploration.


I am going back to dentistry on Monday, as long as my General Dental Council re-registration goes through in time, and if they think I'm good for the job (it's a trial day - though I am ridiculously over qualified so I'm pretty sure I'm in there!) :thumb:

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Thanks folks, not only for the replies but also for allowing me to smugly wave the iPad under my wife's nose saying "Told you it was worth posting" :D


Moo, that's a fantastic reply - thanks! It was indeed an NHS procedure, and I guess it's held up pretty well. I've just come to the conclusion that there's so little of the original tooth left to save that it may as well come out and be replaced with an implant. I was thinking about having it extracted and seeing how I got on with having a gap (my dentist didn't think there was a major hurry to get the implant in afterwards) but from what you say about the longer term consequences I reckon if it comes out it'll need replacing, so may as well get it all done at once. They'll need to get their Dulux colour chart out so they can match the exact shade of yellow :D


Good luck with returning to dentistry - hope it all goes well! :-)

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Thanks folks, not only for the replies but also for allowing me to smugly wave the iPad under my wife's nose saying "Told you it was worth posting" :D


Moo, that's a fantastic reply - thanks! It was indeed an NHS procedure, and I guess it's held up pretty well. I've just come to the conclusion that there's so little of the original tooth left to save that it may as well come out and be replaced with an implant. I was thinking about having it extracted and seeing how I got on with having a gap (my dentist didn't think there was a major hurry to get the implant in afterwards) but from what you say about the longer term consequences I reckon if it comes out it'll need replacing, so may as well get it all done at once. They'll need to get their Dulux colour chart out so they can match the exact shade of yellow :D


Good luck with returning to dentistry - hope it all goes well! :-)

 

No problemo, I looooove talking about teef :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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No problemo, I looooove talking about teef :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

 

She indeed does... Especially telling me how bad they are and how my teeth will fall out from not seeing a dentist despite being an avid evader of sugary treats...


I now floss 3 times a week, rinse with listerine daily and brush twice a day :shock:

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No problemo, I looooove talking about teef :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

 

Especially telling me how bad they are and how my teeth will fall out from not seeing a dentist despite being an avid evader of sugary treats...


I do not! I have never said your teeth will fall out - I'm not one of those crazy OTT people :lol: ! Also, it's not just 'sugary treats' that are the problem - guzzling down orange juice (even sugarfree fizzy drinks) and then not eating or drinking anything for a while after is a big acid attack...just having some water after something acidic/sugary/carbonated, or chewing sugarfree gum, or rinsing with mouthwash will help neutralise the pH and prevent demineralisation. Look at Stephan's Curve briefly, you don't have to read it all but is a useful illustration: http://jamiethedentist.com/dental-caries-decay/stephan-curve. The more you put your teef in that danger zone the more likely you are to get demineralisation leading to decay. Which is why when I occasionally share a fizzy drink with you I always offer gum after :mrgreen: . I'm not perfect by the way - I need a small filling at the moment which I was gonna have in Cambridge but may see if the dentist I will be working for will do it for me...and that is my punishment for how bad I was with sugar before being a dental nurse...took years for that spot to eventually turn into a cavity despite being given a fissure sealant (protective coating).


Anyways, I just pointed out you haven't been to a dentist in *years* and need to floss at least a few times a week - remember you had gum inflammation which is the early stages of gingivitis...oh god don't get me started on gums now...back to cavities, I can't remember the estimates but it was something like more than 60% of cavities can only be discovered via dental x-rays that you'd have at a standard checkup when required - and a little filling is better than a big, undiscovered filling - that as Mark can probably tell you will eventually lead to discomfort or lots of pain through a chronic or acute abcess and possibly a root canal if left untreated.

Also, time and time and time again people who don't go to the dentist for years book in for emergencies because they 'broke their tooth on *insert unlikely food substance*' - actually they already had underlying decay they didn't know about weakening the tooth - and one day it broke off a chunk cos it was so fragile.


I think it's fair enough to say it isn't much effort to book a dental checkup, esp when you have Friday afternoons free, so don't even have to book time off work :wink: . You have crowded teeth which put you more at risk of decay because they create stagnation areas, you have a bit of buildup because of this too and need a scale and polish. So ner!


Omg I love a scale and polish!


Not worked in general dentistry in 3 years - excited and nervous! And worried they're gonna put me in charge of radiography and that sodding ancient manual xray machine hahaha! Hopefully I can persuade them to put me in charge of ordering like I was at my last practice...

PS - bet you wish you hadn't said anything now :lol: hahahaha!

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Fozz man, take her advice - this is what happens when you allow caries to stay past their welcome period...


563708_10152356745540305_2085916674_n.jpg?oh=82fc28248ec9a18a399c9a66bc8d836f&oe=54AE12DE


2 years ago I was eating popcorn and I got a bit stuck in my upper left 2nd molar... I went hunting to pick it out and out pops that!!! That's that happens when the dentist doesn't get out all of the decay when doing a filling.


The decay had spread to the pulp and consequently, killed the nerve. Surprisingly, I never experienced any pain - just a real bad taste when chewing on the left hand side! urrrh.


Anyway, that left just the root and an open cavity (I have more photos of that!) and got extracted.


Since then I have had 4 fillings & 2 root canals... the teeth adventures continues...

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Fozz man, take her advice - this is what happens when you allow caries to stay past their welcome period...


563708_10152356745540305_2085916674_n.jpg?oh=82fc28248ec9a18a399c9a66bc8d836f&oe=54AE12DE


2 years ago I was eating popcorn and I got a bit stuck in my upper left 2nd molar... I went hunting to pick it out and out pops that!!! That's that happens when the dentist doesn't get out all of the decay when doing a filling.


The decay had spread to the pulp and consequently, killed the nerve. Surprisingly, I never experienced any pain - just a real bad taste when chewing on the left hand side! urrrh.


Anyway, that left just the root and an open cavity (I have more photos of that!) and got extracted.


Since then I have had 4 fillings & 2 root canals... the teeth adventures continues...

 

OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO SHOW ME THE PHOTOS!

I started my career as a dental clinical photographer with a bit of nursing inbetween - was awesome 8-)

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OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO SHOW ME THE PHOTOS!

I started my career as a dental clinical photographer with a bit of nursing inbetween - was awesome 8-)

Will post them up later - they are on my computer at home :)

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No problemo, I looooove talking about teef :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

 

She indeed does... Especially telling me how bad they are and how my teeth will fall out from not seeing a dentist despite being an avid evader of sugary treats...


I now floss 3 times a week, rinse with listerine daily and brush twice a day :shock:

 

I still clearly remember a time when a certain person only brushed once a day... :lol:

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No problemo, I looooove talking about teef :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

 

She indeed does... Especially telling me how bad they are and how my teeth will fall out from not seeing a dentist despite being an avid evader of sugary treats...


I now floss 3 times a week, rinse with listerine daily and brush twice a day :shock:

 

I still clearly remember a time when a certain person only brushed once a day... :lol:


Moo too! Terrible...bed time also the worst time of the day not to brush! And the amount of coke I used to drink :shock:

BUT - I remember when you used to eat icing sugar, caster sugar and hot chocolate mix from a packet with a spoon though :lol: :lol: :lol:


Also, I never said Fozzle's teef are bad for the record - I have a bit of a thing for misaligned/crowded/interesting teef since being in the trade of straightening for so long :mrgreen:

See? Beautiful;

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/10361412_1427144094220446_6806610777232072705_n_zps4523aa15.jpg

(I'm one of the few nurses in the UK trained to use the new 3D intra-oral scanners...SO much fun! The yellow bits are where the image hadn't fully rendered yet. Still kicking myself for not saving the finished versions of his and my scanned teef before I left this ortho practice)


He got a free meal out of this at least :lol: ;

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/10348552_1427144187553770_4143791965310476562_n_zps3ed6ea38.jpg

Edited by BikerMooFromMars
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Moo too! Terrible...bed time also the worst time of the day not to brush! And the amount of coke I used to drink :shock:

BUT - I remember when you used to eat icing sugar, caster sugar and hot chocolate mix from a packet with a spoon though :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Caster sugar?!? I take part in no such heathen activities! Bang to rights on the other two though :lol:

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Here you go...
You didn't say you'd had one remooved!


I almost puked with excitement and disgust - thanks for sharing :thumb:


I hope a couple of my photos from 2010 adequately disgust you in return - more gore than gruesomeness though... :lol: :mrgreen:

(do NOT scroll down if you don't like the sight of blood or surgeries)


For educational purposes of how beautiful an implant looks! (btw I have these two on canvases in the living room :lol: ):

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/1aBefore_zps31c880ff.jpg


http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/2After_zps7ae73cf0.jpg


Aaaand the fun stuff...

(photos aren't consistent with angles and portrait/landscape due to the dentist's preference and the access I could achieve leaning over a dental chair with arms and suction and shizzle in my way)


Before multiple implant surgery:

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-20101a_zps593f119c.jpg


http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-201014a_zpsd30d1413.jpg


Pulling back the gingivae to expose bone:

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-20103_zps62824635.jpg


Using a precision-made implant stent/guide - also 3D technology on computer to aid in placement:

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-20105_zps461760d4.jpg


Holes!;

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-20103_zps62824635.jpg


Abutment screws/posts placed;

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-20108_zps247ed585.jpg


Stitches;

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-201012_zpsf30c4b14.jpg


And on the left hand side;

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-201018_zps8a2875ef.jpg


Thin bone graft placed over abutment posts prior to stitching (made from cow bone - some people specially request human bone because they 'don't want cow bone in their body' - but dead human is juuuuust fine!);

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx302/BikerMooFromMars/17-06-201020_zps12d108bf.jpg


Can't remember how long it would then be left for this all to heal...but next stages is placing the abutment and crown and hey presto - teef again! That can never get damaged or decayed or infections...unless you don't clean them at all/very well for a rather long time and get gum/periodontal disease or if you are one of the few rare ones whose body rejects them.

Enjoy!

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Great thread, Moo I nearly chucked ! :shock:

Whats your advice for old gits who want to keep their teef ? I always listerine every time I get up for a pee during sleeps :P

I've recently had root canal, bugger :?

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