A misdiagnosis of facial pain can be a chronic condition with debilitating results. Many patients we see at Stephen Godfrey Dental Care have suffered undiagnosed facial pain for many years and often come to see one of our Specialists as a last resort due to chronic pain, lack of sleep and generally feeling miserable.
For example a lady of 52 years of age had suffered facial pain for 15 years and came to see our Specialist Endodontist Stephen Godfrey for a second opinion.
She had been diagnosed at her local hospital with ‘Trigeminal Neuralgia’ for which there is no conservative treatment other than long term use of drugs/high dosage pain killers.
The lady was prescribed ‘Tegretol’ an analgesic for ‘Trigeminal Neuralgia’ and had been on this drug for 15 years.
After a recent ‘ flare up’ of symptoms she was referred to Stephen Godfrey Dental Care. Her current symptoms involved severe facial pain on the upper right side of her face. The episodes of pain were intermittent with no obvious trigger. Some days the lady could be pain free and at other times the pain on a scale of 0-10 would reach 8.
At the consultation a small x-ray was taken of the upper right area which showed nothing abnormal. A CT Scan producing a 3-D image was then taken and revealed an area of inflammatory disease in the bone relating to one of the roots of the first molar tooth, the treatment for which is either extraction of the tooth or Root Canal Therapy. The lady understood the importance of keeping her own teeth and opted for Root Canal Therapy, a gentle and effective treatment in experienced hands.
After treatment the lady’s symptoms resolved and she has been pain free ever since. She no longer takes medication.
95% of facial pain can be traced to the effects of a dying or dead pulp or nerve and can be treated by Root Canal Therapy. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to inappropriate treatment with the unnecessary use of drugs.