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Root Canals

Severe pain and sensitivity after root canal

10/23/2006

Question:

Hello. I am afraid I am going to have to have this tooth pulled, and paying over 2000 dollars for a root canal. It is a molar on the bottom, and it is still just as sensitive to cold and hot as it was before, and very painful if touched, or tapped/chewing with it...:(...The root canal was now about 3 months ago. I had the tooth behind it pulled , since it was also in bad shape and causing severe pain throughout my jaw, sensitivity etc.. (or so i thought) Now, the tooth in front of it, which had the root canal done is still causing me alot of pain/sensitivity....so, it was both teeth, not just the one that got pulled. Why does this happen? Was all of the root not found and removed? Thanks for any advice you can give me!!

Answer:

Your question is a bit unclear.  Once a root canal is completed, the only loss in sensation is hot/cold sensitivity in that tooth.  If the tooth that had a root canal completed is still sensitive to cold, then either the pain is being referred by another tooth, or the root canal treatment completely missed one of the roots (this would be really hard to do).
 
Tenderness to biting/chewing may be the result of other issues such as periodontal disease, a cracked tooth, reinfection of the root canal and, of course, incompletely done root canal treatment, as well as many other things. I obviously cannot tell you which one of these is the cause of your pain. Your dentist should check this for you and if they cannot determine the cause, then a referral to a specialist should be considered.
 
It is not uncommon for pain to be from two different teeth especially if both teeth have severe decay or infection and are next to each other. Removal of one of those teeth still would leave one tooth to cause your pain. Your choice in this matter would be to try and save the remaining tooth with a completed root canal, filling and crown, or have the second tooth removed also.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University