Dear Dr. Hall,
I found your page on post root canal pain to be very reassuring, thank you.
I was hoping that you might be able to advise on my particular case.
I had quite a traumatic root canal (my first ever) done over 3 sessions in October 2017. It remained painful so I didn’t get it crowned as I wanted to wait. The discomfort persisted and I was referred to an endodontist who after reviewing X-rays suggested that a canal might have been missed. Based on that I decided to have it redone.
During the procedure no missing canals were found. I could feel discomfort close to the bone where it felt raw and exposed, the root canal was completed and I was advised I would be in discomfort for a few days.
I am now on day 4 of immense discomfort and I intend to ring up for some advice tomorrow. I feel worried that things haven’t worked and I’ll have to have the tooth removed.
How long should it take to calm down do you think before I jump to conclusions and assume something nasty is happening in there? This has been a worry for 5 months now, I just don’t know what to do and I don’t want anybody else fiddling with my tooth anymore.
Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Michelle from the UK
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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The key in evaluating your tooth and whether or not the root canal treatment is successful or not isn’t how long you are in discomfort, but the direction the discomfort is going. Is it getting better, albeit slowly? If so, I’d be optimistic.
The fact that your endodontist predicted that this would hurt for a few days adds to my optimism here. If the treatment weren’t working, you could be having some increased swelling. I take it that isn’t happening in your case.
The root canal failure at the hands of your general dentist apparently wasn’t the result of a missed canal, but may have been an inadequate seal at the end of the root.
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