The Tooth From Hell

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Randy Tennison, May 30, 2005.

  1. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    I officially own the most unlucky tooth ever. I've been dealing with this tooth for over 7 years. Here's the story:

    Crown #1 - Tooth becomes sensitive to cold. Dentist #1 decides it needs a root canal. Does the root canal, and then puts a crown on. The crown is huge, and starts really irritating the inside of my mouth. I have Dentist #2 look at it, and he says that the crown is poorly made, poorly installed, and should be changed. Dentist #1 agrees to redo it.

    Crown #2 - Dentist #1 installs crown. When I complain that it's a bit large again, he grinds the back off, leaving it rough. I go back to Dentist #1, who looks at the crown, and sees that Dentist #1 left a large "margin" between the tooth and the crown. I tell Dentist #1 that I am not paying for the crown, and want the insurance refunded, so I can get it replaced.

    Crown #3 (the best so far) - Dentist #2 puts in new crown. It feels good, nice size and lasts a couple years.

    Crown #4 - Dentist #3 (Dentist #2 went off my insurance) notices a pocket of infection in the root canal of the tooth. After a few more xrays, determines that the root canal was done wrong, and needs to be redone. Removes crown #3, opens the canal, and infection puss sprays out of the tooth (so much so that he calls his hygenists in to look at it). The infection has eaten through the root of the tooth, opening it into the sinus cavity. We spend two weeks trying to kill the infection in the tooth, then he puts some stuff in it to reseal the root. Finally, after 3 months, we put on a new crown, and hope it's over.

    Crown #5- 9 months later, during a business trip, I notice a bit of the crown comes off while eating a Dorito. Later the next day, the crown breaks in half. Dentist #3 calls the dental supply company, and they agree to no-charge replace the crown. He installs new "unbreakable" crown, but the next day, it pops off. He re-cements it. Three days later, it pops off again while I eating, and I bite it in two.

    So, now, I'm getting ready to go in tomorrow to get a new temporary that will hopefully last while I'm in Moscow, and then come back for crown #6.

    This is truly the tooth from hell. The other day my boss told me, "You have a lot of problems with your teeth, don't you?". I said, "No, my other teeth are fine. It's just been this one tooth!"
     
  2. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I can surely empathize with you concerning a tooth problem.... I had a particular problem with one myself many years ago.
    As a teenager, my dentist advised I needed a root canal on one of my eye teeth... now that was back when a solid silver rod was used.... it was "installed" and was great until two years later when a bad infection started above that particular tooth.... it was found that the silver rod had gone beyond the root tip and into the bone and had caused an infection that required surgery to correct.....had the surgery to remove the root tip and silver rod and the infected bone; I'll never forget the spray of puss and blood when it was cut into (Yes, I was awake) Ok again for several more years, when I decided to cap my teeth due to inherited "soft" teeth..... went to a cosmetic dentist who proceded to do the first cap which happened to be the same tooth that had the silver rod problem..... For days afterward, it truely felt like I had a rock in my mouth.... changed dentists and had the rest of'em done and re-did the crown previously done by the "cosmetic" dentist.
    To this date, the area around that particular tooth gets sensitive when I have any sinus problems due to the removal of the bone in the previous surgery....
    A good dentist is worth whatever they charge cause you teeth can be a real measure of your patience......among other things......
     
  3. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Wow Randy, that sounds exactly like my mom's story. Except for her, she's got a few teeth like that and because of all the problems from the misfitting crowns, infections, and the like, the teeth have become loose. The problem is, both of these loose teeth are the "anchor" teeth for two separate bridges (long story, but she's got a few teeth missing from her childhood). So now that the anchor teeth are loose and are unable to hold the bridges, she doesn't have many options. This coming week she's having surgery to get dental implants. Hopefully that'll be the end to her horrific saga.

    I truly hope things go well for you and you don't have further problems with the tooth.
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Not to pour salt on anyone's wounds, but out of curiosity can all of these crowns and root canals be avoided with brushing + flossing daily? Or do these things just happen no matter what?
     
  5. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    What exactly is a root canal and what is it for?
     
  6. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I would venture a "yes" and "no" to avoiding teeth issues with proper care.....I was raised in a rural area where personal artesian wells were used for water supply, hence, no flouridation which in turn helps protect teeth..... AND, whereas my Father (Native American heritage) had "perfect" teeth, my mother had soft teeth which she handed down to me !!!

    Some dentists here will have a better answer than I, but my experience is that a "root canal" is typically used when the nerve inside the tooth pulp is infected or otherwise sensitive due to decay etc.... a hole is drilled in the rear of the tooth and the nerve removed with a screw-in file type device...then the canal is packed with various treatments....... can be painful...... having had soft teeth, my teeth "wore" easily and quickly which caused me to eventually have several root canals. I always had a crown put on any tooth that was root canaled.... and now all teeth in my "smile" are crowned... along with some others.......

    My Father's "good" teeth jumped me but two of my sons were lucky enough to get'em..... When you have good teeth, you are very fortunate and should care for them cause they are expensive to replace......... and if you aren't lucky enough to have good teeth or you don't take care of what you do have, just get ready....
     
  7. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    Glad I'm not the only one with experience of a hack dentist. Went through the same nonsense and just gave up and had the tooth pulled....no problem since. The twenty nine I've got left will just have to last.

    Mort
     
  8. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Those certainly help, especially for "above the gum" cavities and such. But there still remains an entire host of problems that can develop which you have no direct control over, including:

    *Impacted wisdom teeth
    *crooked teeth
    *Uneven bite (can cause cracks or breaks in teeth)
    *Gum erosion
    *broken tooth (things happen)
    *food becomes lodges deep between the tooth & gum (like those popcorn husks)

    So even if you're pure of heart and brush & floss when the full moon shines and the flouride blooms bright, you'll still need to continue to see your dentist on a semi-regular basis.
     
  9. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    In my case my root canals and my first 5 crowns/replacement teeth were the result of a face plant while riding my bicycle. My other two implants + crowns were to take the place of 1st molars that I never had.

    My perio problems, on the other hand, might have been avoided or greatly lessened by better flossing habits and regular cleanings during my misspent youth.
     
  10. Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray Supporting Actor

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    Jim,

    Just curious, why not have the darn thing pulled? I had a similar problem with a tooth (well, not THAT much trouble...your story is amazing!) and I eventually just told them to yank it. I am much happier less that tooth!
     
  11. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    My Mom had troubles with her teeth and on many occasions asked for them to be pulled and replaced with a bridge or false teeth. The Dentist refused even though he saw and knew what bad shape they were in.
    I wonder if it was a case of "I'll make more by bandaging the problem many times rather than fixing the problem once"?
     
  12. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    This specific problem couldn't have been helped with all the brushing and flossing on earth. All the problems have been internal tooth. The root nerve began decaying, and caused the initial problems. Then, the faulty root canal caused the other problems. No telling why the crowns keep breaking / coming loose, but it's not a brushing/flossing thing.

    I thought about yanking the tooth when the infection occured, and after reading about toxic teeth, and the problems that improper root canals can cause. But, this is one of my major "chewing" teeth, so it would be missed. It drove me nuts while the crown was gone the last couple of days.

    My dentist hasn't charged me anything for quite a while. We did probably 10 visits with the infection, and he only charged me for the new crown, so it's not a point of "making money". I've joked with him that he's wanting to publish my story in the journals.

    Today, I joked that after so many visits, don't I get a free lazer whitening???
     
  13. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    Things that makes me go hmm......


    visit www.smiles-smiles.com I'm the chinese dude in the pic. Good luck.
     
  14. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Wow, Ryan. Great response.

    This last crown was supposed to be an unbreakable crown. My dentist kept saying, "But this has an aluminized coating" or something to that effect. He was amazed. He took the pieces to send back to the company.

    He is also unsure why the glue won't stick. It sticks fine to my tooth. It just won't stick to the crown. He said he does thousands of crowns with that cement, and they don't come off. Let alone three times (it came off once while I was in the chair).

    And since you are listed as an expert on root canals, I'm curious on your thoughts on the "Toxic Teeth" papers, and the possibility of systemic disease being started from bacteria and infection inside an improperly completed root canal? I ask because my Rheumatoid Arthritis started up 6 months after my original root canal, which ended up being bad.
     
  15. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    The all-porcelain crown that I'm familiar with is made by a company called Procera. Most of their metal-free crowns have an aluminum-oxide coping (think of it as a framework), on top of which a lab tech fires porcelain. This might explain why your dentist mentioned the word aluminum, but it's not really a coating, if we're talking about the same thing. Porcelain is hard but brittle. When fired onto a stiff framework, it becomes strong. Like a ceramic tile is brittle in your hand, but when glued to a concrete floor, it can last forever.
    I'm not surprised that it fractured in two, but it's very uncommon. Personally, I've never done Procera crowns in the molars, but a few in the front. In our demographic area, there isn't a super-high demand for esthetics restorations in the back of the mouth. Porcelain bonded to metal (PBM) crowns have stood up to the test of time. I still like all-gold crowns the best. If I had to get a crown in the back where no one would see, I'd get gold.

    I don't know why the retention of the crown is poor in your case. But if it happened to me, I'd refine the tooth prep, take a new impression, and have the lab look at it, or make a new one.

    I wouldn't call myself an "expert" on root canals (endo) cuz I'm not a specialist. Endodontics is my area of interest and thus a strength for me. It might be surprising to you that I've not come across these "toxic teeth papers" but one patient mentioned something like this to me once. I keep up with things in some journals and I'm also a PT clinical instuctor but I haven't come across any "official" word on this. Understand that there are individuals in the field who are extremely progressive or radical (depending on the slant that you want to use) and their opinions are just that....opinions. Sure, there are endos that are done poorly. I've seen many from overseas that would not pass any North American dental school. Yet, a surprising number of them are asymptomatic. Failing endos harbor bacteria which can cause re-infection, even if the patient experiences no pain. Recurrent decay under fillings and crowns can re-introduce bacteria back into the root canal system, and can ruin otherwise a perfectly well-done endo. The final restoration is therefore just as important to the overall success as the endo itself. I suppose one could find correlations between the chronic presence of bacteria and certain systemic conditions. But to say conclusively that failing endos cause certain condition is far-fetch to me at this time. And then to label it as "toxic" is a little aggressive. Why give it such a vile word? And the worst repercussion is the public thinking all root canals are bad, even if they are perfectly done. Failing endos should be re-treated regardless of systemic involvement.

    Anyway...there are far bigger fish to fry than the odd bad RC. While we're on the topic of chronic infection and the possible medical consequences, consider gum disease. That's all that stuff is, just bacteria eatin' away at bone and tissue. The news really should label that as a ticking time bomb or "gum cancer" or something scary like that. That's one thing the public should get fearful of, not toxic teeth or mercury or fluoride.
     
  16. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    I just went though a crown procedure myself. It was a long ordeal.

    1. Corner of tooth breaks down to the bone. (25% of the tooth gone)
    2. Temporary filling put in. Make appt. for crown lengthening surgery.
    3. Temporary filling falls out.
    4. Crown lengthening surgery on my gums.
    5. Grind tooth down to a nub, apply temporary crown.
    6. Get permanent crown installed. (Metal on the inside and on one side).

    So far, so good.
     
  17. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Ryan,

    My dentist and I talked for quite a while about the "toxic teeth" theories. He told me that he had his mercury levels tested, and they were off the chart. However, he's never used mercury fillings. He got it all from drilling old ones out. He was searching for a cause of his son's autism. Was it the cause? No one knows for sure right now. I know that as soon as I'm done with this adoption, I'm going to have my 2 old mercury fillings removed and redone. Not so much that I'm afraid of them, but because they are ancient, and I'm tired of having metal in my mouth.

    Shawn, good luck on your crown. Sounds like you've been through quite a bit, yourself.

    My new temporary is horrible. It's got several high points that don't hit when biting, but if I move my jaw forward, I hit them. Plus, it's huge on the inside. But, I only have to put up with it for a while.
     

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