Experiencing Pain After a Root Canal? What does it Mean?

Root canals are never a subject that has people thinking rainbows and lollipops. Most people don’t know much about root canals except for “horror stories” they’ve heard.

Contrary to popular belief, infection within the root of the tooth is actually what’s to blame for the pain, not the root canal procedure itself. So, the root canal just gets a bad wrap! The root canal is actually the hero in this story as it is the thing taking away the pain you are experiencing!

Most of the time, recovery from a root canal is simple and quick. Usually, as the numbness wears off, patients feel fine. There are times when pain persists, and I’d like to talk about why that can occur and what to do about it.

Your post-treatment care is important. Tenderness at the site of the root canal should lessen and disappear within three days. This is totally normal.

Let’s talk about what to do if your pain is increasing.

Should I Worry About Post-treatment Pain?

If the pain after your root canal is increasing instead of dissipating, your dentist may not have been able to reach all the nerves and there may still be some lingering infection.

If there is an infection still present, you will notice that the pain at the site of the root canal is getting worse, and you will feel some swelling in your cheek. If swelling and pain persist, call your dentist immediately. It may mean that the dentist didn’t quite reach the very ends of the root.

How is This possible?

Most molars have three canals, but sometimes a fourth canal is hiding deep inside the molar or the nerves are twisted at the base. A lot of the time, this is something your dentist can spot in a preliminary x-ray, but sometimes they can sneak through the cracks.

In some cases, your dentist is not able to differentiate all the nerves from the x-ray so he or she may refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist that only performs root canals. Once your root canal is complete, your regular dentist will then apply your crown.

Nobody wants to undergo a root canal. But, sometimes they are necessary and you might possibly thank us when the pain is gone!

Don’t Be a Stranger

Sometimes a “re-treat” is necessary to make sure that the infection is completely gone. If you are experiencing pain after a root canal, don’t be a hero. Come see us. Infections do not magically disappear.

Call us or visit our dental practice in South East Boise to schedule an appointment today. We promise you will feel so much better!
~Dr. Wagner