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.
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1. Most minor pain and sensitivity issues resolve automatically without any additional treatment. You leave the dental office all numbed up feeling confident, until the numbness vanishes and the pain or sensitivity starts to kick in. Being slightly sensitive on a tooth is not that uncommon, especially if you received white fillings or multiple fillings in one setting. If you want to expedite the healing process then stick with a soft diet, consider using a desensitizing toothpaste and wait several days to see if your symptoms improve. If the symptoms are improving then continue to monitoring it and allow some more time to see if it disappears altogether. But if the symptoms remain consistent or worsen, then it is time to call your dentist and make a followup appointment.
2. Redoing the entire filling rarely helps and usually only makes matters worse. When a filling ends up being sensitive or painful you may automatically think that it wasn’t done correctly and needs to be redone. And if there is a portion of the filling missing, if it is overfilled or underfilled, then it does need to be repaired or redone. But to take out an entire filling, drill the tooth more and place a whole new filling, it will almost always make the problem worsen. When the filling becomes larger it only gets closer to the tooth nerve and increases your symptoms. So if the filling is not too high nor too low and if it looks good and feels intact, then allow it some time to see if the symptoms improve before deciding to go back to your dentist for what could possibly end up being lots of headaches!
3. You need to gather some relevant information to convey to your dentist to help him or her reach the correct diagnosis. In order for your dentist to fix the problem, he or she must first correctly diagnose the source of pain. A troublesome filling could be fixed either via repairing the filling or it may require a crown or root canal instead. Your pain symptoms, level of pain, aggravating factors, etc. are all hints that help your dentist come to an accurate diagnosis. Allowing some time to determine which tooth is bothering you and what its symptoms are, will help avoid getting unnecessary treatments or fixing the wrong tooth. Try not to panic and wait a while to see what is really going on with the tooth before contacting your dentist. Unless of course the pain is severe and throbbing in which case waiting is not required and you most likely have nerve damage which will in turn require a root canal treatment.