I get a good number of questions via email and do my very best to respond to all of them. Occasionally I’ll publish those questions on here along with my answer.
I had a root canal on my upper right premolar on 14 Feb 2017. This is my last appointment (third appointment). The pain has decreased gradually but I still can’t chew hard food. I still can’t brush this tooth with a normal force which means I brush it very softly. How long will the tooth become normal again? When can I use that tooth to chew hard food?
On the 2nd and 3rd appointment, the dentist put a file in and out of my tooth. When the file pushes too deep into the end of my root, it feels extremely painful. Do other patients feel this pain too?
The dentist did not put a crown for my tooth.
A tooth that has had a root canal can definitely take several months to calm down entirely. The amount of time for it to settle down depends on a couple of different things including whether the tooth was abscessed initially, your health, your genetics, and how the root canal was done.
That said, if it has been two months since it was completed and you’re still having a good deal of pain when chewing on hard things and can’t even brush it normally, it is time to get it checked out by your dentist. The most common reasons for a root canaled tooth to not settle down are the bite being off, the tooth being cracked, or the root canal wasn’t completely successful. If your dentist can’t figure out what is going on, it might be time to see a root canal specialist (an endodontist).
The pain when your dentist was using files in the tooth is a relatively common occurrence during a root canal especially if your tooth isn’t completely numb or it is starting to wear off. That pain doesn’t necessarily mean anything was going wrong.
Once you’ve had the tooth evaluated, I would recommend getting a crown on it sooner rather than later. A premolar with a root canal is highly susceptible to breaking without a crown on it.
Hope this helps.