I had a root canal on a top left molar in January. I was surprised to feel pressure, sensitivity, and radiating heat two months later. I returned to the dentist, and he said that there was another canal in my tooth that he needed to treat. He treated and filled the tooth last week. I received antibiotics to clear the infection. I still have pain and pressure in the tooth. Is this common? In two months, it will be almost a year since the issues with this tooth began. I’m afraid this procedure will fail, and I will need an implant soon. Thanks. Deryk from Islip, NY
The post-procedure pain you are feeling is common. We understand that you want relief, but your symptoms are not unusual. It sounds like your dentist made the right decision.
Why Do You Feel Pain or Pressure After Root Canal?
You may feel pain or pressure after a root canal for these reasons:
- Pain or pressure after a root canal treatment could indicate that the treatment failed.
- Pain from heat or cold usually means an untreated root canal remains in your tooth.
If dental instruments push some infected tissue toward the end of your tooth root during the root canal, it can cause irritation and pain. Your dentist removed the infection from another canal, so your pain should gradually decrease over the next few days.
Sometimes, a bite adjustment can minimize the pressure on your teeth when you clench together. The relief from a bite adjustment can be immediate and long lasting. If your pain is steady—or if it gets worse—contact your dentist. You should not need an implant, but you may choose to get a second opinion from a root canal specialist (endodontist).
Meanwhile, follow your dentist’s post-treatment instructions. And avoid chewing hard, crunchy, or sticky food on the same side of your mouth as the root canal tooth.
Petaluma, California, dentist Dr. Rick Lane sponsors this post.