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Root Canals

Pain after root canal



Hi A few weeks ago while stimudenting and flossing I noticed the tooth before my back tooth - the crown was loose. I went to the dentist and he said before he restores or replaces the crown that I should have a root canal. The tooth never hurt me before, all I wanted was to replace the crown but he thought it would be safer instead of putting on a new crown to have a root canal. So I went for a root canal by a Specialist. The dentist did it all in one sitting. It has been 3 weeks and I am in pain. Trobbing, and "drawing" and aching. It is making me very cranky. I went back to the Endo Specialist and re adjusted my bite, saying that the tooth was being traumatized because of a heavy bite. He said not to eat on that side and take Advil. If by chance I am grinding my teeth at night, that could be why the tooth is aggravated? I am not giving it a chance? How can it ever get better if I (was grinding at night?) The restorative dentist cannot replace the crown until the pain goes away. How can it go away if (I`m grinding on it?) If I put a plastic retainer that costs money and he couldn`t do it until I had the "good crown" put back in because he said the mold would be different with this tooth and the new crown. I don`t know what to do? Help!!! Unless there is another explanation for the pain. There was never any pain before the root canal. No infection.Do I go to another dentist? I was never in pain before this. Help


It sounds like there is quite a bit going on. The source of the pain is really difficult for me to assess without actually doing an exam and looking at your radiographs. Some possibilities are:

If the old crown is loose and you may be grinding on it at night and it needs to be replaced, why not have your dentist take it off? If the root canal is sealed properly, then not having the crown on for a couple days should not affect the placement of a new crown. With the old crown gone, there really should be no way for you to grind on that tooth. If the pain goes away, then you will know what the cause of your pain is and a splint will be of help. If the pain does not go away, then there is another problem. Taking the crown off will also let your dentist see how much tooth is left and maybe see if there is a crack in the tooth.

Again, I say this without knowing all the particulars of your case and without seeing your bite and the condition of the old crown (all of which may make my suggestion worthless). Getting a third opinion may also not be a bad idea, especially since you are concerned about the treatment plan you have been offered.

Sorry- I can't really help you with the crankiness issue.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University