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Root Canals

Experiencing pain after...



I have completed the root canal treatment in my lower left molar (the last one in the back) in two appointments. Each visit was about an hour. I`ve taken the necessary antibotics (keflex 500) and pain medications (motrin 800). After about 10 days, I was pain free and ready for obturation. After the gutta purcha points were inserted and temporarily cemented, I experienced discomfort and pain when chewing soft food (still on a soft diet to prevent damage). A few days later, he removed the gutta percha points and resealed the tooth. I`m not sure what the problem was, but perhaps it was some sort of tissue irritation. I took another supply of antibiotics and Over the Counter Motrin for roughly 5 days and I was pain-free and felt great for the first time, prior to the Root Canal Treatment. I was able to eat meat for the first time, cereal, etc. I went back and had the gutta percha points inserted and cemented with no problem and made an appointment for the crown preparation. However, the pain from the insertion of the gutta percha points came back and my dentist seems quite miffed from this. He has shown me the x-rays and according to the x-rays, there should be nothing wrong.

I do not have pain when opening and closing mouth, nor is it sensitive to temperature. The problem occurs when I am chewing or when there is something in between the two forces of the teeth. This pain only occurs when the gutta percha points are used and sealed by a temporary cement.

Possible Problems out of the Question: 1. I do not have a visible fracture on the x-ray. 2. I am not allergic to the latex gutta percha. 3. The gutta percha points were not inserted too deep.

Could you please share your input regarding this matter? I know it will be very hard without any visuals or examination. Please help, I am frustrated with constant visits to the dentist office (About 7 additional visits after the Root Canal Treatment in the past 3 weeks) and the inability of using the left side of the mouth.


I'm sorry that you are having such trouble with this tooth, and I understand your frustration. You are correct in stating that I cannot diagnose or give treatment suggestions for your situation from my limited information. One possible reason is that you are having a reaction to the "temporary cement" being used. I understand that you are tired of visits but I would recommend one to an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists with additional education in diagnosis and root canal treatment. Because they limit their practices to endodontics, they treat complicated cases every day. They use their special training and experience in treating difficult cases.

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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