Root canal treatment is generally a very successful treatment. Over 90% of the time a tooth treated with a root canal will heal up and be just fine. However there are post op issues that need to be addressed.
Some things you may experience after your root canal is complete:
Discomfort: some discomfort is to be expected. Root canal therapy is a form of surgery, and surgery is usually followed by some soreness. Most of the time this discomfort will be moderate to minimal, but about 10% of root canals will be sore exquisitely tender for a 1-3 days. If your tooth was abscessed prior to treatment, it will probably take longer to become comfortable. Most of the time the post-operative pain from a root canal can be managed with over the counter medication. Studies show that taking 400mg ibuprofen and 500mg Tylenol every 4-6 hours is the most effective pain control regimen.
Tenderness to Biting Pressure: This is one of the most common post-operative consequences of a root canal. Not everyone experiences it, but if you do, it may last up to 3 or 4 weeks. Be patient and it almost always goes away. However, in the future, you may still feel sensations in a tooth that has had a root canal. This is not uncommon. While there is no longer a nerve inside your tooth, the ligament that anchors your tooth root to the jawbone is still in place and has feeling. Some people may always have a slight amount of tenderness when they bite down very hard. This seems to be especially true if the tooth was cracked prior to treatment.
Restoration of the tooth: most teeth that need root canals will need a crown or some sort of bonded restoration to give the tooth it’s strength back. Teeth treated with root canals can be especially brittle and prone to fracture; this means restoring your tooth is especially important. You may leave with a temporary restoration after your root canal, but these are only designed to last a few weeks, and it is vital that you return for a definitive restoration soon to protect the tooth and your investment. Also, just because your tooth has had a root canal, it doesn’t mean it can’t decay any more, so it is important to continue your regular cleanings and dental care.
We hope this gives you a good idea of what to expect following a root canal, and we thank you for trusting us for your dental care.