Question: Do dental x-rays (digital ones) accurately reflect what is going on in a tooth? When you start working on a tooth, can the damage you find be worse than what is shown on the x-ray and what is visible on the tooth itself?
Went to dentist Dec. 2007 for exam due to sore gums. Found to have moderate-severe gingivitis. Treated with Periolase. Since then: brushing teeth 2 times per day with electric toothbrush for 4 minutes each time, and using proxi-brush 2 times per day (she prefers proxi-brush over flossing) Progressive improvement in gum disease over this time. Every 3 months- sonic cleaning, salt-blasting, with variable, but decreasing, amounts of discomfort after the cleanings.
April 2010-Least amount of discomfort during and after cleaning since I have been seeing her. Yeah!! progress!! I’m doing good!! Routine x-rays show a “shadow-decreased enamel density(size not specified)” on one of my molar teeth Some darkening of the tooth surface, but no cavity. Advised I should get a filling to prevent further damage to the tooth-should not wait until it gets worse.
early May 2010- Filling done. She says it is “deep” and she put in some stuff to decrease pain and inflammation. Afterward, pain with eating and clenching teeth together. Check “bite”=adjust. Still problem, check “bite”=adjust. Now pressure on tooth in front of filled tooth, file that tooth. Now slight pressure on teeth in front to previously filed teeth. Still sore if I happen to forget and eat on that side.
4th of July- eating a piece of ham, start to bite down on filled tooth-Major pain lasting an hour. Take aleve for several days, better but still slightly sore. (Why still sore at all, 2 months after the filling ???) Don’t want to go back to dentist, don’t trust her anymore, never had problems with fillings ever before-get printout of x-rays.
Last Friday-don’t know what I did, worse pain in tooth. No gum redness or swelling or soreness so I don’t suspect abscess at the root. Stop eating any food that requires chewing. Saturday, in tears due to pain, pain along jaw up to ear. Talk to another dentist: 600 mg. Advil alternating with 1000 mg. Tylenol every three hours. I also add topical pain cream on skin of face over sore area. Finally some relief on Sunday. See this dentist on Monday, he looks at April 2010 x-ray printout, not sure, maybe, he sees the “shadow”. (“printout not as good as seeing the x-ray itself”, he says) He takes his own x-ray: Wow, that is a big, deep filling. See how close it is to the nerves. You have “pulpitis”-inflammation of nerve in tooth-will need root canal and crown to solve problems. Cost-just shy of $3,000 :eek:
I do not understand. How can I have that much damage and need such a large filling to a tooth that only has a “shadow-decreased enamel density” on the x-ray and yet have NO pain when she cleans and salt-blasts the tooth, and no pain with eating?