With proper care, even teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime. But sometimes, a tooth that has been treated doesn't heal properly and can become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. If your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, you have a second chance.
The resulting discomfort ranges from mild tenderness to excruciating pain, which may be caused by biting down or exposure to hot and cold temperatures. You might notice symptoms of nerve problems shortly after having the crown put on or even months after the procedure.
Crown cementation often irritates the pulp. This irritation can go away over time. It may take months for this irritation to go away, but it may be best for the patient to wait if he or she is willing.
Some Minor Pain Is Normal After Root Canal Treatment
If you have had a root canal in the last few days and you're experiencing some minor pain, discomfort, and inflammation, this is nothing to worry about. This is normal and a relatively common issue.
If a root canal tooth hurts years after failure, it is often due to root canal failure or a cracked tooth.
Sensitivity to hot and cold, or lingering pain after consuming hot or cold food. Sharp pain when biting down or when tapping the teeth together. Constant pain and pressure. Swelling of the gums, with or without the presence of a pimple-like bump near the tooth on the gums.
If a root canal was not performed on your tooth before your dental crown was placed, the tooth still has nerves running to it. Your crown could be putting pressure on a traumatized nerve and if an infection occurs, it can be painful.
A recent meta-analysis of the Endodontic literature suggests that 5.3% of patients who received root canal therapy report some form of pain 6 months or longer following treatment.
If you didn't have a root canal before your crown was placed, the tooth still has nerves in it. Sometimes, the crown puts pressure on a traumatized nerve, and an infection occurs. Or, infections can result from old fillings underneath the crown that leak bacteria that infects the nerve.
If your dental crown is too high or improperly positioned, that may result in moderate to severe pain in your tooth when biting down. If your bite feels off after getting a crown and you feel pain when biting down, you may want to consider asking a dentist if the crown is loose or if it needs to be adjusted.
When your teeth become cracked, the crown becomes unstable due to the broken foundation. This is one reason why your crown may hurt. If you have recently undergone a crown replacement and it hurts for up to a week after treatment, your crown may have been placed incorrectly or has not bonded properly to your tooth.
It is very rare that an old crown can be saved or reused since it will typically need to be cut into sections as it is removed from the tooth. For your comfort, the tooth and gum tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic during this procedure.
Do Nerves Grow Back After a Root Canal? A root canal therapy removes the nerves and other organic matter from inside a tooth's root canal system, which is then filled with a material known as gutta-percha and sealed. Thus, nerves do not come back after a root canal.
Although a dentist can do a second or third root canal treatment—or more—on a tooth, the results are unpredictable. Even the most skilled dentists can perform root canal treatment that fails. Studies show that root canal treatment has an 86 – 98% success rate.
Pain. It is normal to have some discomfort for a few days after your root canal. If you have severe pain that lingers, though, or if your tooth feels better and then starts hurting again, you may be experiencing a root canal failure.
While uncomfortable, any pain and sensitivity following a root canal should only last a few days. Since the pain experienced after a root canal is usually mild, you'll likely only need over-the-counter pain medications for relief. These include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB).
Unfortunately, the teeth underneath the crown can still get damaged by bacteria, which causes cavities and tooth decay. That is why, even with a dental crown, it's still vital to maintain proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and checkups.
Most antibiotics like Amoxicillin are not viable to cure a root canal infection. Once the disease has reached its roots, it means the blood vessels with antibacterial defenses have broken down. Hence, antibiotics cannot penetrate inside the tooth into the root where the problem lies.
A root canal infection brings severe pain in its wake. The pain intensifies when you bite down or place pressure on the affected tooth. Additionally, you may experience tooth sensitivity when you eat hot or cold food and drinks. The pain can also originate from inflammation of the gums.
Most first-time root canal treatments achieve their purpose in saving an internally decayed tooth and extending its life to match those of the patient's non-decayed teeth. Occasionally, though, a root canal-treated tooth may become re-infected by decay.
Due to the cement used to place a crown, some sensitivity and discomfort for the first few days is completely normal and can often be remedied with an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. This may manifest as sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.