Forgive me in advance for the extreme specificity. This has been a problem tooth for years and it requires some explaining, and I'm also unfortunately verbose sometimes.
Years back I had a filling placed on the side of #9. The filling hurt during placement and never felt quite right -- it would throb occasionally and get more painful with pressure. Over the years I'd gone back to dentists to get it checked and their response had always been to file the end of the filling down so it stopped hitting my bottom teeth This mostly worked.
A little over a month ago, a dentist (from the office I'd been visiting but not the same dentist who'd looked at the filling previously) decided that the pain was actually a sign that the tooth needed a root canal, using the fact that it would occasionally hurt without any provocation as proof. It sounded plausible and I'd already gotten two crowns and a root canal done in the past two months so I agreed without thinking much of it. The root canal procedure went fine up until he reached what I assume is the lowest (highest?) part of the tooth, when severe pain broke through the anesthesia. He gave me extra Novocaine, which did nothing, and then some other anesthesia that was meant to last longer and also did nothing. The procedure was finished, he put a temporary crown on, and sent me home with instructions to visit a special office to get a custom color for the permanent crown. I did so. The temporary crown wasn't particularly good-looking -- it was extremely short and almost looked glued to #10 -- and while it eventually stopped hurting after four or five days, it retained extreme sensitivity to pressure. I could barely touch my tongue to the tooth without pain.
Two weeks later, I had the permanent crown put in. I noted that the dentist seemed to be pressing particularly hard to get the crown fitted on as though it wasn't quite slotting into place properly (which was, naturally, painful), but I'd had so much dental pain over the last three months that I again didn't think much of it. He told me to return in a week if the sensitivity to pressure persisted. A week passed with no change and I returned to his office, whereupon I was told that "we were just going back and forth at this point" (which, yes, I had been coming in at least once a week to fix a new problem -- none of this office's fillings seemed to be right the first time) and was sent to an endodontist to get 3-D imaging done. I'll mention at this point that since the permanent was placed #9 has had no sensitivity to temperature, just pressure.
Now, the endodontist HAS found a possible cause. The root canal rubber filling (gutta-percha, I think?) is overextended around 1.5 mm and appears to be juuust pressing against the ligament. I've tried her first treatment, which is a week of steroids, and that did nothing. The other two options she's given me are a second root canal to pull that filling back from the ligament, or surgery (through the gum, I think, to cut the excess bit out). The endodontist also admitted that overextension may not be the issue and there could be a microscopic fracture, but she thinks it's the less likely scenario as, in her words, such breakages often come with infections that degrade the surrounding bone and there was no sign of that on the imaging.
However, I recently figured out (and I know it sounds like I should've discovered this sooner, but again, constant dental pain for three months, I'd gotten used to it) that while there isn't any pain coming from direct pressure on #8 or #10, there IS some pain when flossing the areas between #7-8 and #10-11. I don't think that's a coincidence. There is, for the record, also a great deal of pain when flossing either side of #9.
I'm putting this out to the community to see what people think. Does overextension still sound like the most plausible theory? Could it be a crown that's too wide? Something else entirely? I'm not going to take anyone's word as gospel, obviously, but if a second root canal and/or surgery doesn't sound necessary to some of you then I'd very much like to know that before scheduling one so I can go get a second opinion from a general dentist -- not the same one I've been seeing, probably, I've gotten sick of that office not doing a good enough job the first time and they functionally kicked me out to the endodontist anyway. If the second root canal turns out to be necessary, then I guess that's just life.
Again, I'm sorry for the long post, and I'm doubly sorry if this posts twice -- the first time didn't seem to take so I'm trying again. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.