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Root Canals

Root canal completed, throbbing pain back

01/07/2008

Question:

I had the 2nd part of root canal completed yesterday on a front tooth. Dentist did not numb the area, saying that he never does so for other patients. I felt every scrap,like rubbing on a raw nerve. He couldn`t explain why it was so painful. My tooth has been throbbing all day and is painful. The tooth is very sensitive to tapping on it. I`m afraid he didn`t know what he was doing. Could the nerve still be alive, thus the pain? Or is there pain and the tooth extra sensitive because of the trauma of the procedure? Dentist is closed today and out of town for the next week. I`ve been taking tylenol which takes the edge off, but still feel the throbbing with every heart beat. Is this normal? I`ve had other root canals where they numbed me for both appts. and had no pain at all afterwards. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Answer:

I hope by now you are starting to feel better. It is normal to have some discomfort after root canal treatment. Over the counter medications can help relieve this discomfort, with Advil (ibuprofen) being the most common one taken. However, you should not take ibuprofen if you have medical contraindications.

Usually most of the discomfort subsides after the first few days and things start to feel more normal again after about a week. I cannot comment on the actual treatment you received since I know nothing about your tooth or the situation.

If things are not feeling better or you would like an evaluation, usually when a dentist leaves town there is a contact number for another dentist who handles their emergencies. Otherwise, you can always seek out an endodontist for an evaluation.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University