So, you’ve gone to the dentist and had your tooth prepared for a new crown. You leave the dentist office with a temporary crown thinking, “So far so good.” However, a week later horrible pain sets in. You’ve tried Ibuprofen which helps a little, and after a few weeks the pain is completely gone. Is it possible that the nerve is healing in the tooth and that you no longer need the recommended root canal treatment? Is it possible to continue wearing the temporary crown instead of moving forward with a permanent crown? Read on to learn more about what is really happening inside your tooth.

What Happens If The Pulp Chamber Gets Infected?

This scenario describes exactly what happens when deep decay reaches the root canal or the “pulp chamber” in the tooth. Also, it is not uncommon for teeth, which have large fillings, to experience decay around the edges or margins of the fillings when they start to break down. Once infected, the pulp chamber, which encompasses all the living tissue inside the tooth including the nerves, will start to die. This is when the pain, some may describe as “horrible” will be noticed. This acute pain is intense and comes on very quickly. After two or three days this acute pain will start to subside (as opposed to chronic pain which lasts a lot longer). A root canal infection can cause excruciating pain. However, because it is inflammatory in nature, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen can be somewhat helpful in relieving the pain. If Ibuprofen is not sufficient, a stronger medication may be required and will need to be prescribed by your dentist.

What Happens If The Pulp Chamber Dies?

Once all the tissue, including the nerve, in the pulp chamber has died, the pain may temporarily go away; however, the infection will not. This deep decay will continue to slowly travel through the end of the root and into the bone.  At this point, you will start to notice pain when you bite on the tooth. This secondary pain is transmitted through other nerves that live in the periodontal ligament which is the lining membrane that joins the tooth to the bone. If the infection is left untreated, it’s very possible that you may develop an acute (painful) abscess or a chronic abscess, which is a more longstanding and silent infection, meaning that you might not feel it at all until it’s too late.

What Happens If the Nerve In Your Tooth Dies?

If the nerve in your tooth has died, a root canal treatment will certainly save the tooth and save you pain in the process. Once the root canal treatment is complete, a permanent crown will protect the tooth, as a “temporary” crown is only meant to function for a short period of time. A permanent crown should be affixed without delay.

Talk to your dental care professional to discuss the best options for your dental health. Only he/she can determine whether or not your tooth can recover without a root canal and how much time it should take for the nerve to heal. A root canal treatment plan may not be the answer you want, but it may be the answer to a healthy tooth.

Tri-State Family Dentistry has a lot of experience with root canals. Never ignore a sore tooth, chances are it will only get worse.

Contact Us (859-689-1105) For More Information or to Make an Appointment!


About Tri-State Family Dentistry

Tri-State Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care possible. Being privately owned since 2009, we don’t experience the corporate pressure that other dental practices have to hit certain revenue numbers. You will never be ‘sold’ dentistry at Tri-State Family Dentistry. After we explain your treatment options, you can make your own decisions.