How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Has been three days since the root canal and the pain is still severe?
- Are you still sensitive to hot and cold?
- Are you biting too heavily on the root canal treated tooth?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions then you need to go to to the dentist for a followup. If you’re still having pain or hot and cold sensitivity, the root canal may not have been performed satisfactorily and you may require further work done on the tooth. However if the bite is high a simple bite adjustment can get the job done and eliminate your pain within a few hours.
helpful hint – Keep in mind that if you have been putting too much pressure on the tooth for several days then dropping the bite will help out some, but it will a couple of days for the pain to completely disappear. Give it some time, maintain a soft diet and continue taking your medications until the pain has fully vanished. If it still persists you may have to receive your crown right away.
If you answered “no” to the above questions then you are probably going through the normal healing process and should allow the tooth more time to heal up before going back to the dentist.
Having a root canal is not that different from having a tooth extraction and it requires a few days to recover from the treatment. Whenever you have a very painful root canal infection or if you’ve had a chronic, lingering infection in the tooth then odds are you will be in pain for two to three days afterwards.
- Make sure to discuss with your dentist that the root canal has been successfully completed
- Make sure your dentist checks your bite to ensure there’s not too much pressure being applied to the tooth
- Give your tooth a little break from chewing hard items until it has had a chance to heal up
- And if you want to be even safer then get some medications that work for you and take them as recommended
What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Root Canal: Wait a Little First
1. It is typical to have two to three days of pain following most root canal treatments. You need to realize that a root canal is basically a minor surgery which removes the nerve tissues and the infection from the tooth. And like any other surgical procedure there is a recovery period as your body responds to recovering from the treatment. So being in pain for 2 to 3 days after the root canal is totally normal.
helpful hint – As a rule of thumb, the more pain you present to your dentist with before the root canal is completed, the more severe and long-lasting the pain will be after the procedure has been completed. Make sure to request stronger painkillers and possibly some antibiotics for these more painful root canal infections as a precaution.
2. You could be feeling pain due to the tooth being tender and weak. This type of pain can be very confusing for patients and even for dentists. To understands this concept you must realize that there are two types of severe pain a tooth can experience, nerve pain and pressure pain.
- One type of pain is caused by the nerves inside the tooth roots. This is usually reactive to hot and cold reactive. This is exactly the type of pain that a root canal treats and fixes.
- The other type of pain comes from the nerves and tissue surrounding the tooth, known as the periodontal ligaments. This is a pressure type of pain. You can still experience this pain on a tooth that has had a successful root canal because the origin of the pain is not the tooth itself but the gum tissues surrounding the tooth.
If the tooth is tender after the root canal treatment because a lot of the tooth structure has been removed then you will continue to feel pain from these periodontal ligaments and this is normal. In summary, hot and cold pain after a root canal treatment is not normal whereas pressure pain is to be accepted.
3. You should allow the tooth some time to heal. You need to give the tooth a few days to recover from the a root canal treatment. It is best to stick with a soft diet and try to put less pressure on this tooth. Get some rest if you can and take the pain killers and/or antibiotics that you may have been given. If the prescribed medications aren’t strong enough or if you weren’t given any then you should probably contact your dentist to discuss this. You can even have the dentist call in your medications if you don’t want to bother going back in. However there is no reason to panic or expect that anything has gone wrong within the first two to three days after the treatment is completed as this is normal.
NEXT >> How to Decide
How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Is the root canal located on a front tooth?
- Is there only a small cavity or filling on the tooth?
- Was the root canal performed very conservatively and left most of the tooth intact?
- You are NOT a heavy grinder?
- You don’t have too many crowns on your teeth already?
- You are under 60?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, then you may be able to pass up on the crown, at your own risk. Not only does the tooth have to qualify for not needing the crown, but you also need to make sure you are not a heavy grinder, don’t have too many crowns, or are not too old where teeth are weaker and fragile and break much easier.
If you answered “no” to the any questions then unfortunately you will require the crown. A crown may be expensive, but losing the tooth and needing a dental implant is way more expensive and much more difficult to do.
Root canal treatments are quite costly and time consuming on their own, but without getting a crown you risk losing the tooth. Once the root canal has been performed the majority of the tooth structure above the gumlines is removed. As a result the tooth will become very weak and undermined. Without a crown on the tooth is likely to fracture or break, and should this happen you could be in trouble Sometimes the crown will fix the problem but most of the times the tooth will not be salvageable any longer and must be removed. Thus not getting the crown done on time could result in losing the tooth and the need for a dental implant, which is much more work and expenses than the crown would’ve been otherwise.
If the root canal is costing you too much, then you might have to wait to receive the crown a little later once you have the cash for it. Waiting for a few weeks is typically okay but after a few months the tooth begins to chip and crack and you must get the crown now or risk losing the tooth. Don’t postpone it for too long or you will end up losing the tooth after all and you paid for a root canal in vain!
helpful hint – If you need to wait for the crown consider talking to ask your dentist about at least placing the post or the permanent filling in the tooth. This makes the tooth much sturdier and reduces the chances of it fracturing as you wait for your crown. Also ask your dentist to drop the tooth out of bite. Not chewing on the tooth reduces the force exerted on it and decreases the likelihood of it breaking. Doing these two things should buy you some time to allow you to come up with the necessary funds required for the crown.
NEXT >> Do I Need to Place a Crown On a Root Canal Treated Tooth: Pros of Placing a Crown
Do I Need to Place a Crown On a Root Canal Treated Tooth: Pros of NOT Placing a Crown