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Dentistry/Root Canal #17


Hello Doctor Backlund,

I had a Root Canal performed on tooth #17 on Monday(Its now Wednesday). I still have that 1 wisdom tooth, because it occludes with my 2nd maxillary molar(Class 3 occlusion on the left side). They filled 3 canals with Gutta Percha, placed glass ionomer and a cotton ball, then placed IRM. I believe it was 20MM in depth. My question is, this was done 2 days ago and whenever I bite down on that tooth, it still hurts. I though with the Pulp Chamber being cleaned out with the sodium Hypochloride and files that i would not feel any pain in that tooth. Its only whenever I bite down or actually push down on the tooth. I am taking 800mg of Motrin and I am eating only on my right side until I have a permenant filling placed on this. How long does the pain usually last after a RCT treated tooth? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (I am a Dental Technician in the US Navy, so I will understand any terminology) Thank you so much for your assistance in advance.

Hi Scottie,

I'm sorry to hear you have all this going on. Unfortunately, it's not too unusual after endo. What happens is that the process of doing the treatment cause inflammation at the end of the tooth. When that happens, the tooth can be extruded a bit from the socket and you bite a bit high on it. That increases the inflammation and a bit more pressure occurs and you bite a little harder on it. This becomes a vicious circle ending up with pretty severe pain anytime your teeth touch together. The problem is not inside the tooth, but rather in the bone and periodontal ligament. This can also all happen if you have a post op infection needing antibiotics. Since I can't diagnosis your problem without examining you, I don't know which situation is causing your tenderness.

At this point, I would suggest that you start by getting your bite adjusted so that you can "clack" up & down and slide from side to side with NO pain. If there is no improvement in 24-48 hours, I would start on antibiotics.

Hope this helps.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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