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stroker UberDork
1/1/22 8:41 p.m.

'Bout a month ago I started having pain in my left jaw.  It hurt to clench my teeth.  I thought the glands might be infected as they hurt under localized pressure.  I didn't do anything about it because I had my regular appointment with the dentist scheduled in three weeks.  Last week I saw the dentist and he says I've got a crack in my rearmost left lower molar.  There's some discoloration (darkening) in about a third of it.  It has a very old filling and looks like the crack formed from that pocket.  Short version is it's only going to get worse and he wants to put a crown on it before that crack ends up breaking off part of the tooth and possibly requiring a root canal.  They're wanting me to take an entire afternoon off to get the crown put in.

We just hired a new team member  (third of three) and I thought I'd like to give her some more time to train and learn the ropes before taking an afternoon off, so I told them to schedule me for third week of February.  The problem is that the pain in this tooth is keeping me awake at night and bothering me all day.  I'm taking Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen to keep it at bay, but it's distracting me all the time.  I can't chew and it's extremely sensitive to temperature (both hot and cold).  I'm thinking I need to try and get the crown put in ASAP but in the eventuality that's not possible, I need some sort of effective localized pain relief.  I was going to try Clove Oil but can't find any locally.  The pharmacist suggested Orajel (or something like it).  

Can anyone recommend something over-the-counter that actually works, or is this a problem that can't be (or even shouldn't be) addressed with a local analgesic? 


secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/1/22 9:37 p.m.

Sounds like it could be infected.  Antibiotics might help.  Had a somewhat similar experience and wound up having an extraction. Currently part way through having an implant installed to fill the void in my mouth.

I think docwyte may practice the voodo of dentistry...

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/1/22 9:48 p.m.

In reply to stroker :

I'm gonna guess that the new hire can survive for one half day alone so that you don't have to suffer for 2 month.

Said another way, a half day of her inefficiency has less harmful affects to the business than would your two months of reduced efficiency battling pain, sleepless nights, and possibly a cranky attitude due to discomfort. 


Brotus7 Dork
1/1/22 10:08 p.m.

I don't know anything about what you do for a living, but I agree with John. Take care of yourself sooner than later. Work will always be there.

docwyte PowerDork
1/2/22 11:11 a.m.

Ok, when your Doc tells you you're broken, please listen.  Putting the appointment out ~2 months is a bad idea, that just lets Murphy stir the pot more and increases the likelihood that more work will be needed, which means more money out of your pocket.  To say nothing of the discomfort you're in.  Sermon over.

Doesn't sound infected, antibiotics won't help.  In my experience, nothing will really help the pain unless you get a big hammer, like Percocet or the like.  Even then it'll give short periods of relief. For now, take 3 ibuprofen and 1 tylenol every 4-6 hours.  Research has shown that's as effective of a pain killer as any opiod.

Then go see your dentist ASAP.  No, really.  Like call them tomorrow morning first thing and go in and see them.

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/2/22 12:23 p.m.

How much do you need the tooth to be there? I am missing two molars cause I was a bad child and didn't care for my teeth. After college one cracked and my face inflated from infection. I had no dental plan, but didn't care. I said yank it. Super cheap way to go. No issues missing them. Can't be seen in pictures when smiling either. At the time it cost $75. (1994) Don't wait. Get it done ASAP.

Of note, they used a local. I could visualize the procedure in my head as they removed the tooth in pieces. Dentist asked why I kept chuckling to myself. That's why. I knew exactly what was happing but couldn't feel any pain and this amused me!



docwyte PowerDork
1/2/22 1:09 p.m.

Sometimes taking a tooth out makes sense, or is the only thing that can be done.  If the root is cracked for instance.  That being said, I really like to try and save teeth vs just removing them.  It's a cascading effect when you lose a tooth...

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
1/2/22 3:13 p.m.

I'd get to the dentist asap.  I wouldn't think a crown should take an entire afternoon - I had four crowns done at the same time two weeks ago, and that only took two hours (they are temporaries so I do have another visit scheduled to get the permanent ones put in).

daeman Dork
1/2/22 3:37 p.m.

That crack could allow infection in and that could lead to an abscess. It's not fun, I shouldn't have put off visiting  the dentist.

Delaying  dental work is playing with fire, you might get through the next 2 months unscathed, or the whole lot could turn into a flaming mess and you end up having  to lose the tooth entirely, laid up with an infection  etc.

If your new hire is made of the right stuff, she'll handle you not being there for a day

914Driver MegaDork
1/2/22 4:07 p.m.

Not scaring you, but I had a "minor issue" and went to my dentist.  Nope.  It's very close to the nerve along the jaw.  If I nick it you could have facial paralysis, he sent me to an oral surgeon.

Your call, but I wouldn't mess around.


PS: Black indicates a dead nerve.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/2/22 4:10 p.m.

Perfect opportunity to let the new hire take a test drive!

Go fix your tooth. 

porschenut Reader
1/3/22 8:45 a.m.

BTDT, ended up with a root canal which is much more expensive. Get it done ASAP.

clutchsmoke UltraDork
1/3/22 8:51 a.m.

I'll just pile on. Docwyte is our resident dentist. Get that taken care of ASAP. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
1/3/22 9:08 a.m.

It's Monday, make that call! 

dean1484 MegaDork
1/3/22 1:36 p.m.

Ohhh and 6 weeks of pain killers will tear your stomach to pieces that will then be another problem to deal with.  


Why are you even asking this question?  Tell the new person to stay home for a day while you get your tooth fixed. 

andy_b New Reader
1/3/22 10:45 p.m.

I'm with everyone else in this thread, get it taken care of ASAP. 

I just had a molar out due to similar pain/symptoms caused by resorption that couldn't be fixed with a root canal. 

Due to Covid, getting referred to a specialist, and needing to wait for an infection to clear up, I spent over a month in near constant pain.  It made life horrible. The relief I felt after the procedure even as the Novocain wore off, was heaven.  I was still in pain, but now I knew it was going to heal and get better, and that made such a difference.  Between the wear and tear on my stomach from pain killers and the fatigue caused by the stress of constant pain, I was definitely not at my best for a month.

 One afternoon is worth the quality of life improvement. 

the_machina Reader
1/4/22 1:02 p.m.

Some places have the ability to make their own permanent crown in-house while you wait, instead of having to send your impression to a lab and put on a temporary one now, and a permanent one later. If your dentist can't make their own while you wait, maybe call around to see if someone else can, and go there? Makes it just one appointment to get a crown instead of two.

docwyte PowerDork
1/4/22 1:57 p.m.

It takes one appointment that's much, much longer.  The quality of those crowns is highly dependent on the operator using the machine, some are flat garbage, some are pretty good.  Sadly the patient can't tell the difference between the two. 

stroker UberDork
1/4/22 10:44 p.m.

Saw my doc this morning.  Based on my description of the symptoms he said he was 50/50 on a crown vs a root canal--if we did a crown there was a good chance it wouldn't fix the problem and we'd ultimately need either a root canal or an extraction.  To make sure, he recommended I go see a specialist and get a 3D image done.  I did that this afternoon  The specialist says the image was inconclusive but he basically agreed with my dentist and thinks I need a root canal.  We scheduled one for 1/19.  Let's hope the crack holds out until then. 


But thanks for all your input, I genuinely appreciate you all caring enough to give me your experiences. 



docwyte PowerDork
1/5/22 9:13 a.m.

I love my 3D scanner.  It's a super cool piece of tech and I can hopefully save my patients a visit to the specialist by taking the scans in my office

docwyte PowerDork
1/12/22 9:22 a.m.

In reply to David_12 :


stroker UberDork
1/12/22 9:51 a.m.

Have I been canoe'd...?


docwyte PowerDork
1/12/22 9:52 a.m.

In reply to stroker :


Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
1/12/22 9:53 a.m.
stroker said:

Have I been canoe'd...?


Indeed you have! Do you win anything?

RevRico UltimaDork
1/12/22 9:59 a.m.
docwyte said:

I love my 3D scanner.  It's a super cool piece of tech and I can hopefully save my patients a visit to the specialist by taking the scans in my office

Just experienced one of those on Monday. Holy E36 M3 that's amazing. As a tech junkie who DESPISES dentist offices (nothing personal, I have bad teeth and have had some really E36 M3ty dentists through the years) that scanner was a game changer. 

Last time I was at the dentist, 10.5 years ago, they were still doing the "stab poke wiggle" method on EVERY tooth. This time, just a plastic poker with colored bands to check the gums. 

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