My dentist placed three new crowns in August. One crown is on my bottom left, second molar tooth, a second is on my top left, first molar tooth, and the third is on the second molar tooth. The bottom tooth hurt, so my dentist gave it a little time and decided to do a root canal. I got the root canal two weeks ago, but my tooth still hurts. I am almost finished taking the antibiotic. Should I wait until I finish the medication before calling my dentist and scheduling with her? How long should a root canal tooth hurt? – Thanks for your help. Teri from Pittsburgh, PA
Thank you for choosing our office for your question.
One of our dentists would need to examine your tooth and x-rays for an accurate diagnosis. And the dentist would ask more questions, including:
- Has the pain increased or decreased since root canal therapy?
- What triggers the pain?
- Is your tooth sensitive?
Causes of Ongoing Pain After Root Canal Therapy
- Untreated root canals – Although most molar teeth have three canals, sometimes a tooth has four or five canals. If your dentist misses them and does not treat the infection, the pain will persist.
- Problem with another tooth – If another tooth is infected, the pain can refer to other teeth.
- Inflammation – Sometimes, after root canal treatment, a tooth may be inflamed and sensitive. When you bite or chew on that side, the irritation causes post-operative pain. It can take a while for the tooth to get better. Some dentists make a thin mouth guard for you to wear at night and when you are not eating to relieve the pressure on the affected tooth.
- Irritation from crown preparation– Sometimes, preparing your tooth for a dental crown and removing some tooth structure irritates it. But it should decrease over time.
Rather than wait until you have taken all the antibiotic medication, call your dentist and ask for an x-ray to ensure she treated all the canals. If necessary, your dentist can refer you to a root canal specialist.