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Dental and Oral Health Center

Post root canal pain for 3 weeks

06/27/2007

Question:

Thanks for your help! It`s been three weeks since root canal in tooth # 19, lower left, molar and still experiencing lingering pain, saddle, dull ache. I can tap on it okay. It’s not sensitive to hot or cold, but when I go with my tongue over it, I can feel a mild soreness around the tooth. The tooth has a temporary filling and I am scheduled to do a crown over it, but not right now, only after the tooth totally calms down.

Since then, I have contacted the Endo and was told to continue to take the Ibuprofen. Last week I was out on Penicillin for a possible infection. This particular tooth was fractured and the Endo took two visits to complete. She told me I have 3 canals that she was able to remove the pulp, infection, and totally complete the procedure.

Does it take this long for the tooth to heal? How can I tell if something else is wrong? What went wrong? Do you think Endo will have to retreat the root canal and remove more pulp? Your reply is highly appreciated. Best regards.

Answer:

The problem may not be the root canal treatment as much as the issue you described about the tooth being fractured. A tooth that has a fracture that goes down the root will never completely heal. Symptoms may get better, but the fracture remains. The fracture causes irritation in the bone which, in-turn, causes inflammation around it.

Unfortunately, there is no easy, guaranteed method to repair a fractured root. Other problems could include periodontal disease around the tooth or night grinding. I obviously cannot say in this type of forum. If the symptoms continue, you should have the endodontist re-evaluate the tooth to see if any changes have occurred which may help diagnose your symptoms.

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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