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.