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 your tooth still savable?
- Has the root canal destroyed a substantial amount of tooth structure?
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you probably need a post to bring your tooth to its original state.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you may not require a post. IF your dentist or endodontist create only a small opening access to perform the root canal treatment and preserves the majority of your original tooth structure then you will not require a post.
- This usually applies only to the front teeth which have only one nerve and are thus easier to access the tooth nerve without having to remove a whole bunch of tooth structure. And it only applies in cases where there is not a lot of decay and cavity in the tooth.
Unfortunately this is not something that you have any control over and is at the sole discretion of your dentist. If your dentist goes into the tooth and can’t find the canal and is forced to increase the size of the access hole then you will automatically require a post.
If your dentist or endodontist removes a substantial amount of your tooth structure then a post can help to better restore your tooth to its original state. It basically improves your odds of not having to redo the treatment in the future. Without the placement of a post the chances of the crown breaking off or falling out increases greatly. Should this happen you will probably either have to redo the entire post and crown procedure over or even risk losing the tooth. Keep in mind that the post placement must be performed between the root canal treatment and the crown preparation appointment, you can’t go back and place the post once the crown has been fabricated.
If you are down to less than 20% of your natural tooth structure above the gumline things are not looking good for that tooth. A post may help a little but you are still likely to lose the tooth sooner than later. Before invention of dental implants it made sense to attempt to place a large post and perform additional treatments and surgeries in attempts to salvage the tooth at all costs. But these treatments add up to as much as a dental implant would cost only with much lower success rates. So you are almost always better off receiving the dental implant instead of trying to save these very badly broken teeth.
NEXT >> Placing a Post in a Root Canal Treated Tooth: Pros of Placing a Post
Placing a Post in a Root Canal Treated Tooth: Pros of NOT Placing a Post