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I recently went to the dentist because I had broken one of my molars that had a filling in it. This dentist sent me to another dentist to do a root canal about 10 days ago. The second dentist said I didn't need a root canal and removed the old filling and cleaned the area out ( I had decay under the filling but not down to the nerve) and cut my gums down in prep. for the crown that my other dentist would be doing. Four days later I went back to the first dentist and he was upset that I didn't have the root canal. He cut down my tooth and cut my gums down even more and put a temp. crown on after taking an impression for the permanent crown. I was brushing my teeth and caught a rough spot and now I can taste the medicine seeping out from under the temp crown, my tooth is sensitive to cold and my ear feels blocked. One other thing, I grind my teeth at night. Please advise me as my dentists office is closed for the holiday.

I am guessing that the 2nd dentist who you visited was an endodontist (= a root canal specialist). In any event, with a tooth such as yours which is borderline, you may still need to have a root canal completed in the near future. However, the 2nd dentist you visited probably thinks that it is worth your while to have the crown completed first, and then see how your tooth feels. We often do this when there is no obvious sign of infection in your tooth. Also, since it sounds like you needed 'surgical crown lengthening' of your gums, you probably had a limited amount of tooth structure left on which to place a crown. By completing a root canal, your dentist will be able to place a post inside the tooth to give your crown more strength and support. The sensitivity you feel now may simply be due to the lack of insulation provided by your temporary crown. Your final crown should feel much better. Also, you probably should not worry about the taste of the medicine or cement around your tooth. It may be annoying, but is not a health risk. I hope you have a fun 4th!


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Last revised: January 03, 2005.