About three years ago I had a moderate toothache that wouldn't go away. I went to my dentist, told him that I thought it was under a crown but wasn't sure, it might have been the tooth next to it. He took x-rays and didn't see anything, so he sent me to an endodontist to see if I needed a root canal.
The answer was no, so I went back to the dentist and he referred me to a periodontist because I had some bone loss right near the toothache where one of my wisdom teeth used to be. The periodontist decided that that was probably the problem and did oral surgery which entailed opening the gum, scraping out dead bone, and using cadaver bone to fill the hole. About 6 weeks later, when the pain killers were all gone and the pain from the surgery had lessened, the same toothache was back... so back to the periodontist I went, where she looked and looked and finally decided that the tooth next to the one with the crown was cracked... more oral surgery to remove the tooth, and when the pain killers ran out and the pain from pulling the tooth was lessened, the same toothache was back.
I went back to her, pretty fed up by now, and told her that i thought all along that it was the tooth with the crown. I think she thought she was looking at a law suit, so she basically said there was nothing she could do for me and she didn't want to see me again... and back to my dentist I go.
Finally, the dentist takes the crown off and found that there was indeed some decay under the crown and the base of that tooth was cracked. He cleaned out the decay, cemented the crack and put a temporary crown on to make sure that I didn't have anymore pain before putting the permanent crown on.
In the meantime, all of the above had used up all of my insurance coverage for the year leading to me keeping the temporary crown for about 6 months. It broke at one point, and I had to go back to get a new temporary crown (these temporaries are like sandpaper against your tongue when you try to talk, so were really uncomfortable for the entire time I had them). Finally, with new insurance at the beginning of the year, I went back to the dentist to get the permanent crown put on. He fitted me for the permanent one and about two weeks later I had it put on. His receptionist didn't bother to check, and when it turned out that my dentist was not on my insurance plan, I ended up having to pay out-of-pocket. Since I had started getting an intermittent toothache again from the same tooth, my dentist decided that he would put the permanent crown on with temporary cement to make sure that I wouldn't have more problems. Then, with my divorce, I lost my insurance entirely, so for about a year now, the permanent crown has been held on with temporary cement... and I still get occasional toothaches from it.
Well, you asked.
One last thing... I still have the tooth that the periodontist pulled and it looks to me like it was a perfectly healthy tooth.