What to Do If You Have Severe Pain after Root Canal Treatment

Severe pain after root canal treatment can be a sign that all is not right.

Root canals are an important dental treatment, as they save teeth that might otherwise have to be extracted due to infections that have entered through the roots and into the pulp chamber and put its health in peril. Although this procedure has sometimes had a bad reputation among patients because they’ve heard terror-tales of fierce pain involved, the truth is that today’s modern dentistry techniques ensure there’s little or no pain at all and it’s all over fairly quickly. It’s certainly no more uncomfortable than having a filling.

But what if you have severe pain after root canal treatment? The procedure is designed to be safe and relatively pain-free, and you’d expect that any pain you’d experience would be during it, in the dentist’s chair. Sometimes, however, patients can have mild or even severe pain after root canal treatment, and it’s important to pay attention to it so that it doesn’t develop into something worse. Here’s what, generally, you should be aware of.

Some Pain or Discomfort May Be Normal

As a root canal is an invasive procedure — going into the tooth and nerve to remove the infected pulp and fill the chamber with a rubbery material and then seal it to prevent bacteria from entering again — it’s important to bear in mind that the site may be tender or sensitive for a few days. It’s possible you might feel little or nothing, though, but most patients tend to have a little and temporary sensitivity in the area. You may be prescribed painkillers to deal with any residual pain, so you may not feel all that much anyway.

If you’re wondering what might be causing any pain you’re experiencing after root canal treatment, it can be due to a number of factors. These include tissue around the root canal site that has become inflamed because of the work and the nerves in the tissue can signal pain until the inflammation dies down. There might also be some tissue damage in the area due to the instruments that were used to carry out the root canal, and it can take a few days, at least, for it to heal. None of this is anything to worry about, and soon you’ll be back to normal with no pain at all.

Reasons for Severe Pain after Root Canal Treatment

Most root canals are successful and it’s relatively rare for them to fail — this is a chief reason for severe pain after root canal treatment, and it can be alarming for the patient. It can happen because the pulp chamber, which was sealed with that rubbery material we mentioned, starts to leak or that the sealant erodes over time. It’s possible that were was another canal in the tooth that wasn’t evident at the time of treatment, and this needs to be treated too. There could also be a crack or cracks in the tooth, or it may just be because the patient doesn’t practice good dental hygiene and problems like infections develop as a result.

If you’re experiencing severe pain after root canal treatment, it’s likely you’ve already been prescribed pain medication — something like ibuprofen is commonly used, and a prescription is not required. But if you find it’s not working and you’re not getting any relief, you should contact your dental clinic immediately, as something could be wrong with your tooth and you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, try to avoid chewing in the area with the affected tooth so you don’t further inflame the area.

Get the best root canal treatment at The James Clinic’s top-class surgeries in Ireland, where you can expect high levels of care and attention before, during and after the procedure. Contact us now and make an initial appointment to discuss your case.