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Root Canals

Sensitive tooth, x-ray shows nothing



I have a sensitive tooth question. Lower right molar. Has a large amalgam filling, done many years ago. Never had a problem with it. Last year it started to react to pressure, dentist took xray, showed nothing. 6 months ago it is reacting to cold and very hot. But always cold. Took another xray. Nothing. No pain. But cannot put anything on it since food has temperature. He said there is nothing wrong with the tooth. I have tried, ACT, Xylitol and Sensodyne and GelKam. Nothing gets rid of the sensitivity. Dentist told me that he cannot do a root canal because the xray does not show anything wrong. An oral surgeon told me a few moths ago that sometime hairline cracks never show up in an xray. But still, I am uncomfortable and no one can give me an answer. I asked about the sealants and he said, they don`t work. So, what do I do. Chew on the other side for the rest of my life, and limit my intake to room temp foods. It is driving me crazy. Dentist told me, there is nothing that indicates there is anything wrong. He is also confused. 3 years ago, the dentist that i had before me that retired and this guy bought his practice, filed this tooth down because he was getting frustrated that the crown on the UPPER right was not fitting properly. Instead of fitting the crown, he grinded the filling. Could that have done the damage? Like I said, I never had a problem with this tooth. Any input would be helpful. What would you suggest I do or take. Does Act work?


I would recommend an evaluation by an endodontist. You don't have to see something in a radiograph for a root canal to be done. Sometimes, persistent sensitivity can necessitate a root canal.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University