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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT

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I recently had a Root canal done and a crown installed.

I have sensitivity to hot and cold now and when I touch above the tooth in the gum area, it is painful upon pressure.

My dentist has seen me about it several times and has stated that it is not uncommon for this and the nerves in and around the gums in the area to react (pain) upon touch for up to a year. I need to know what I can do. ...Visitor from ME

The short answer is that it should not take a year for a tooth to get back to normal and be pain free after having root canal treatment done.

There could be several reasons for your tooth to still be uncomfortable and painful.

The crown placed after the root canal can be a bit too high causing you to be hitting that tooth harder than any other tooth. This heavy banging on the tooth can cause pain in the root area of your tooth. Once the crown is properly adjusted and your bite is normal, the pain will go away and your tooth will get back to normal.

However, if there is an underlying problem with the root canal treatment, the pain will not go away even if the crown is in perfect occlusion.

Another possible cause of pain after a root canal is that the root canal treatment may have not been done as well as it could have been. Back upper and lower teeth have an extra 4th canal that can be very difficult to uncover and find. If this 4th canal was not treated you will always have discomfort in this tooth, and a possible reinfection of this tooth as well.

If the root canal filling material was too short and not filling all of your tooth root all the way to the apex (tip) of your root, this could leave bacterial products in the tooth. These bacterial products can reinfect the tooth causing chronic pain that will not go away.

Your dentist may be very good, but root canal treatment takes tremendous skill and technique to do it at a very high level.

My recommendation is to call a very good Endodontist (root canal specialist) in your area for a second opinion and evaluation. A specialist can determine where your discomfort is coming from, and if your tooth may need to be re-treated to resolve your pain issues.

Editorial Staff

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