1 month following root canal it hurts to chew hard things, sensitive to touch. What options do I have to treat this?

I got a root canal 2 months ago. I had a crown on the tooth so the dentist went through the crown. A week after the RC, I had discomfort when I chewed food or touched one side of the tooth. It went away until 2 weeks ago when the pain came back. Now it hurts to chew hard things, sensitive to touch the tooth with my tongue, toothbrush, etc. The pain is worse in different parts of the tooth. I wear a nightguard. I'm out of my dental insurance for the year so I'm not sure what options I have.

Doctor Answers 7

Pain after root canal

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Well firstly I would look at the possibility of a crack or fracture in the tooth. This could be the reason why you’re experiencing pain when chewing. Another possible scenario could be a failing root canal where the particular root canal had been missed or the canals hadn’t been cleaned thoroughly and you could be possibly be getting a reinfection of the canal space. So the most logical thing to do would be to go back to your treating dentist and to assess these 2 possible scenarios.

You could take a radiograph but it is probably too early to notice or recognize any changes if it’s only been two months. I would get him to probe and check the gum. This can show if there is a fracture at a particular point of one of the roots. I hope this helps.

Sydney Dentist

Tooth pain without dental insurance ... #DrSoftTouch

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Sounds like you may need a re-treat root canal or possibly a fracture of the tooth.  I would highly recommend that you see a dentist ASAP, so that your tooth can be saved.  Not having dental insurance is really not that big of a deal, because dental insurance usually only pays the 50% of the first $2000.  This means that the most that insurance will cover is usually only $1000 to $1500 per patient, after you have nearly matched the insurance payments with your own money.  Good luck and I hope this helps. Follow me if you have more questions.
Sarah Thompson, DMD

Here's the truth about dental insurance:
  • Dental Insurance is capped at a yearly maximum. For about all policies this is $1,000-$2,000 per year. It has been this way since the 1960's.
  • Dental Benefits paid for procedures vary greatly from company to company and even policy types within companies. It becomes a function of what your individual employer is willing to pay for. This is why it is very difficult for you and your neighbors to compare coverage "over the fence."
  • It's best and most effective use for most consumer is as a maintenance tool. It would be like you getting your oil changes paid for or most paid for, but major maintenance on your car is an out of pocket expense.
  • Some dental insurance policies give you the choice to see who you would like. Others give you a list to follow. By and large if you are restricted to a list the relationship with your dentist will be minimal at best.
  • Your dental insurance company will likely try to influence your decision about dental care you receive. Many times clerks who are giving you information have less dental knowledge than you. Yet they will give you opinions that should come from your dentist. Find a dentist who treats you like they would a family member and listen to them. You will win in the end.
  • Never base your dental appointment frequency on whether you have insurance. Keeping consistent hygiene maintenance appointments will save dollars and your smile in the long run.

  • 1 month following root canal it hurts to chew hard things, sensitive to touch. What options do I have to treat this?

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    It is possible that either the root canal did not take care of the problem in its entirety, or more likely that the tooth/root under the crown has fractured.
    Antibiotics will not solve either of these problems.
    You would first need to have a proper diagnosis on why you are having the pain, and what options your dentist recommends to correct your problem.  No dentist could answer this without actually seeing and examining you and having a current (new) x-ray of your tooth. 
    If you dental insurance has been used up, you could certainly have the treatment necessary to rid you of your pain.  However, you would have to pay for the services completely out of pocket.  Most dental insurances only pay a portion of restorative dentistry anyway, and not the entire treatment.
    How much money is not having pain worth to you?

    Norman Huefner, DDS
    Laguna Niguel Dentist

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    1 month following root canal it hurts to chew hard things, sensitive to touch. What options do I have to treat this?

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    I would suggest a follow up appointment with the dentist who performed the root canal procedure. Sometimes sharp pain to chewing can mean the root is cracked. It may also mean that you are biting with too much force on this tooth and you need the bite adjusted. Sometimes there are additional spaces (canals)  in the roots that are not detected during initial treatment and follow up treatment may be needed to address these areas.

    Graham T. Egger, DDS
    Federal Way Dentist

    Needs to be looked at again

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    It is not unusual for a tooth to hurt a little immediately following root canal therapy, but that should be gone by now if all went well.  Assuming the bite is correct on the restoration that filled the openeing they made in your crown, there are a few different things that might be going on.  Unfortunately you will have to be seen by the your dentist dentist again or get a second opinion to determine if something is wrong.

    Jeffrey Green, DDS
    Seattle Dentist

    Post-op root canal discomfort

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    1. It sounds as if you may have a fractured root in which case the tooth would most likely require extraction. Should finances be an issue you could have the tooth extracted and wait until your insurance kicks in again and then decide whether an implant or bridge would be the most appropriate choice for replacing the tooth.

    Possible root fracture or excessive bite pressure issues

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    If the root canal tooth is hurting, particularly when you bite down on food or simply to touch, then there is a good chance that the tooth could be fractured or the bite is excessive on the tooth.
    I would suggest a consultation with an experienced periodontist and get an opinion.

    Eric Linden, DMD, MSD
    New York Periodontist

    These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.