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Root Canals

Root canal pain



I recently had a root canal on a molar. The appointment lasted about 3 hours and all the dentist did was clean out the canals. The problem was that she could not find the 3rd canal and apparently there was only two. She filled it with a temporary filling and the next day the filling fell out completely. I couldn’t go see her until 7 days later because she was busy so I bought a temp filling at Walgreen’s to keep the air from hitting it because it hurt so bad. I went in yesterday and the appointment lasted 3 hours she was having a problem putting the gutta percha into one of the canals. Anyway my question is that she could only put the gutta percha half way in the root, is this problem or can this become a problem? I’ve been reading on the net and I feel all the canals need to be filled completely for a root canal to work? She prescribed me 750MG Vicodin and it helps the pain a little but will this go away eventfully ( the pain). She didn’t cap it because she said she was too tired and frustrated with the tooth, I was also tired and my jaw needed a break. Can you please let me know if this seems normal length of time to be getting a root canal and if it’s ok that she did not put the gutta percha all the way down the one canal?

I’m sorry I don’t know all the terminology for the procedure but would greatly appreciate your opinion.


Root canals can be very difficult to do.  Every case is unique and comes with its own set of complications.  I can't really judge how difficult your case was, obviously, without seeing it.  Some dentists have more skills and experience than others.  That may have been a factor here.

Yes, you are correct that the root canal should ideally be filled all the way to the end of the root and all the canals should be located (if present) and treated.  Crowns are usually done at a separate appointment and not right after the root canal is completed.  

My suggestion is that if you have any question about the care you received that you speak with your dentist and/or seek a second opinion/evaluation form an endodontist to be sure that everything will heal as it should.

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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