Dentist Questions Root Canal

I had a root canal and the same tooth is hurting again. What should I do?

I had a root canal done about 3 months ago and now I am experiencing pain and sensitivity in the same tooth again. What should I do?

28 Answers

It is not typical to get recurring pain in a tooth 3 months after a root canal procedure. I would suggest go back to whomever that did the procedure for re-evaluation. The root canal could be incomplete or have a missed canal. Good luck.
Dr. Cyril Tahtadjian
Go back to the dentist that did the root canal and have it evaluated
Have it checked by a dentist or specialist - endodontist

Do visit your dentist. He will have to take an X-ray. If the tooth was fine for 3 months and now it just started being sore again, you may have fractured it. Did you have a crown placed on the tooth? If the dentist is unable to figure out why, you may need a CBCT scan or a referral to an endodontist.
Hope this helps.

Go back to whoever treated the tooth. There is something wrong that only a professional can treat.
Go back and see the dentist.
Go back to the dentist that did it. Or go to a specialist (Endodontist). If you waited over a month after the root canal, the temporary filling may be leaking and the root canal failing
Reconsult your dentist. There could be an extra root that escaped detection, or possible other issues.
Pain after a root canal could be indicative of several issues. If the root canal was done 3 months ago, I would highly suggest you find a Dentist for an exam. There are many reasons why a tooth would hurt after a RCT (Root Canal Therapy) procedure, some of the reasons could be because the RCT was done poorly, the tooth may have fractured, or as simple as your bite not being 100% aligned. I would highly recommend seeing a General Dentist.
Go back and tell the dentist who did the root canal that there is still pain in the tooth. Root canals are not 100 % successful in the best of scenarios.
Contact the dentist who did it. It can be a problem of the tooth itself. A x-ray will help have a diagnosis.
Two main reasons for this are:
A failing root canal or a fractured root.
You should go back to the dentist that did the root canal to see if there is more treatment needed or a crack in the tooth.
There are many things that can be going on here. Number one is the restoration placed following the root canal may be too high. This can lead to a hot cold sensitivity and sensation of a tooth pain due to an inflamed ligament. Number two would be a missed lateral canal or recurrent infection. Number three would be a fractured root. Number four would be referred pain from another tooth. Number five would be sinus pressure if your sinuses are clogged up and it was an upper tooth. I would contact my dentist or treating endodkntist for further examination and diagnosis.
Definitely, I would recommend you to go in for an evaluation.
It could be the tooth beside it. Or could be that tooth might be cracked or many things. You should get the dentist to look at it.
Return to the dentist who treated the tooth for follow up evaluation. The tooth may have fractured if you were advised to place a crown on it for protection and failed to follow up on treatment.
You need to go back to see the dentist who performed the root canal and get it evaluated.
I would recommend evaluation by the dentist who completed the treatment first, and if the problem is not found or relieved, seek out a specialist (Endodontist) if it was not originally done by a specialist. Success of root canal therapy is about 90%.
This is a complicated issue. Most patients that have a root canal have had them done by a general practioner not by a specialist. This is usually an attempt to save dental dollars but leads to ineffective treatment due to imrpoper technique of removing infected nerve tissue which leads to the symptoms you could be experiencing. The most successful result would have been to see a specialist for a specialistproblem and the specialty of root canals is indodontics. The difference in price is twice as much.

Some of the causes of this situation are 1) incomplete sealing of the canal 2) cracked tooth -- there might be a crack in the tooth somewhere; sometimes they are hard to detect 3) wrong tooth -- you may have "referred pain " -- pain in one tooth is actually from another tooth 4) crown (or temporary crown) is too high -- you are pounding on the tooth (dentist can lower the crown height). See your dentist again.

Thank you for the question,

Dr. Arthur J. DeAngelo, B.S., DDS
Going to see your dentist who did the root canal is the best solution.
A tooth many times is sensitive after having treatment. This is true especially with biting forces. If it persists, go back and have it evaluated.
First, you should seek a specialist to evaluate the tooth. If it's not a tooth problem, seek out someone who understands TMJ problems and related symptoms.
Go back to the dentist and have him or her re-evaluate the area. Need to confirm where the pain is coming from, and rule out any bite issues that could be irritating the tooth. If it truly is the root canalled tooth that is hurting, and there are no obvious reasons why...a 3D image can be taken to see if any problems are noted anywhere in the tooth. May need a referral
to a specialist (endodontist) to evaluate the tooth as well.
This generally means that the hole at the end of the root where the nerve comes into the tooth from the bone was not completely sealed.

Another scenario, if you needed a crown and didn’t get it done after the root canal or at least a permanent filling in order to seal the tooth, then bacteria can get in and cause an infection, which will result in pain.

I would have the tooth retreated by an endodontist, a root canal specialist.
Pain after a root canal can be frustrating but not uncommon. Sometimes there may have been an extra nerve that couldn’t be seen by regular magnification. You may need to see a specialist to check for any other nerves that are still there.
There are several reasons for having pain on a previously treated tooth including inadequate treatmen, persistant inflammation/infection at the perimeter of the roots and fracture . It has to be clinically examined and radiographed to find the cause.