Root Canals (Endodontic Therapy) Questions and Answers Archive

Jan
2002

Q&A: What options do I have to get better numbing / sedation for oral surgery? OUCH

Question:

I have to have alot of dental work done. Several root canals and fillings, BUT I never seem to get numbed enough. Even after 3 shots or so it still hurts. What other options do I have. I'm tired of it! Thank you

- Cheryl

Answer:

 David A. King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

You can try sedation with a qualified dentist that performs IV anesthesia. Contact your local dental board for more info.

-- David A. King, DDS
Wilmington, Delaware



Nov
2001

Q&A: What should I do if the pain and infection is back after I had an apioectomy (retrograde root canal treatment)?

Question:

I had an apioectomy on 2 front teeth. The infection was up into my cheek and face and behind my nose. The pain and infection is back. What is the next step?

- Kimberly

Answer:

Recheck the root canals, recheck the apicos, and check the teeth for fracture.

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida



Nov
2001

Q&A: Was my application of veneers abnormal because I had a lot of pain and still have sensitivity to hot & cold?

Question:

I just had a gum lift and 8 porcelain veneers applied to my teeth. I'm curious about a few things. I heard that the preparation and application of veneers is painless and sometimes unnessesary for anasthetic to be used. This is definitely not how my proceedure was. I was subjected to a lot of novacane and a lot of pain. I'm not sure why my case was any different. Although I couldn't see what the doctor was doing, it seemed as if he ground my natural teeth down drastically. Is this normal? My gums are extremely sore and swollen, and I'm very sensitive to hot and cold. I had my veneers applied just last week, but I'm still confused as to why this was such a painful proceedure. I also had to undergo 3 root canals for the proceedure. Previously, I had a very gummy smile, so I needed the gum lift. Subsequently, the doctor had to "shorten" my teeth. But it felt as though he ground them down to little points and then applied the veneers. I was very choosy when picking my doctor. He is very well know in the Midwest. The veneers look beautiful, but I'm a little nervous about what was done to my natural teeth. Also, will this sensitivity to hot and cold ever go away? Thanks

Answer:

Debra Gray King, DDS - LocateADoc.com

Sometimes veneers can be placed with little to no tooth reduction. Other times, a lot of tooth reduction is required. This is particularly the case when the natural teeth jut out, are twisted, or are rotated. Cases like this are sometimes called "instant orthodontics" because the end result looks like the teeth have been moved (but the illusion is due to porcelain veneers). In short, the more reduction that is required -- the more risk that it will be a painful experience and there will be root canals involved. That also provides part of the explaination why one person may have a virtually pain-free experience and another person may have a very different one. Some people just have a higher pain threshold than others. There are a variety of pain reduction devices (e.g., computer controlled anesthetic delivery devices) and techniques that are helping to minimize pain. At this point, however, pain is still a risk when teeth structure is reduced. Ususally, the pain subsides fairly quickly and the residual sensitivity to temperature goes away spontaneously. You should keep in touch with your dentist and have him check it out if the pain continues. You'll probably just be left with a beautiful smile and feel like it was well worth it.

--Debra Gray King, DDS
Atlanta, Georgia



Sep
2001

Q&A: What should I do if I have concern about drug allergies and I need extensive dental work done?

Question:

I have multi drug anaphylaxis and it is imperative that I receive completely drug and chemical free dental care. I am aware of lasers and electronic devices for some dental procedures. However, I am in need of gum surgery, root canals and some cavity treatments. Are some general anesthesias allergen free? What alternatives do I have to have dental work done without a possible anaphylactic episode?

- Kathy

Answer:

If your allergies are that severe, I would suggest you discuss it with your allergist, and seek care in a hospital setting.

--Charles R. McNamara, DMD
Winter Park, Florida