How Long Will I Have Pain after Root Canal Treatment? | Smiles Of La Mesa - Blog

How Long Will I Have Pain after Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal treatment isn’t always a walk in the park. However, it can also be argued that this type of dental operation is somewhat over-dreaded, as the pain from this procedure typically dissipates after a few days. Below, we look at how long will you have pain after root canal treatments.

That being said, several factors can impact the overall timeline of this recovery trajectory. Much of it will have to do with the nature and intensity of your personal procedure.

How Long Will I Have Pain after Root Canal Treatment?

If you have a planned root canal at the dentist’s or are just curious about learning more about this procedure, take a look at this timeline that describes how long you can expect the pain to last from this procedure.

What Occurs During a Root Canal?

During a root canal, an endodontist takes an X-ray of the target tooth. Next, the dentist gives an anesthetic to the tooth and places a rubber dam on the patient’s mouth to isolate it.

The dentist then makes an opening in the top of the tooth, removing the sensitive pulp from the chamber and root canals. They then proceed to fill the root canals with a rubber-like substance, which is then sealed within the tooth. In the final step, the endodontist places a temporary filling on top of the tooth while it is healing.

Patients who have received a root canal will need to revisit the dentist to have their temporary filling removed. Once this occurs, the dentist will place a permanent crown or restoration on the tooth to complete the process and bring the tooth back to full functioning. At this stage, the patient should not experience any more pain.

What Is a Normal Amount of Pain?

It’s normal to feel some pain following a root canal treatment. However, this pain is usually not unmanageable. Some of the most common symptoms reported include:

  • Inflammation: Often, patients experience inflammation and swelling in their gums following a root canal.
  • Instrument damage: During a root canal, there’s a strong chance that your dentist may accidentally injure areas of your mouth with their dental instruments. Although these types of accidents typically aren’t very serious, there’s a possibility that there will be some lingering pain after your procedure is completed.
  • High temporary filling: This is a situation where the dentist puts in the temporary filling and doesn’t smooth it down enough. If the filling is even just a little higher than its surrounding teeth, it can cause the mouth to bite down harder on that spot. This has the potential to make the tooth sore.

In most of these situations, there is just some sensitivity and discomfort that should dissipate within a few days. Do you experience severe pain that doesn’t go away within a couple of days? Then it might be time to call an endodontist or a dentist to reevaluate your situation.

Can a Root Canal Be Unsuccessful?

Although it happens very rarely, root canals do sometimes fail. These failed root canals can sometimes cause a person more pain than a successful procedure. There are several reasons that a root canal might fail, including some of the following:

  • Poor upkeep and dental hygiene
  • The breakdown of the tooth or sealing material
  • The restoration begins to leak
  • The presence of an extra canal in the tooth that is missed
  • An obstruction such as a curved root canal.
  • Dentist error
  • Vertical cracks in the tooth.

Managing Pain

Most root canals will not produce very serious pain and, therefore, won’t need too much management. Maybe you do feel intense discomfort. Then you can take some steps to diminish the amount of pain that you feel.

One of the most common ways that patients manage pain is through the use of over-the-counter medications and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. These medications can be found readily and easily in most pharmacies.

You can also aid the recovery process by avoiding biting down on the target tooth until the final restoration has been completed. The temporary filling is delicate and may break as a result. As always, practicing good dental hygiene with regular brushing and flossing is a must.

The Dentist of Choice in La Mesa

Smiles of La Mesa has all the information and tools you need to have a successful root canal treatment, all while lessening the amount of pain you experience at the doctor. If you’re interested in discussing your own upcoming procedure with a dentist, contact us today in order to schedule an appointment.

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