Common Problems

Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Foods
Possible Ailment
If the sensitivity is only momentary, generally there is no larger problem. This sensitivity may be caused by minimal gum recession that has exposed the tooth root or possibly caused by a loose filling.
Switch to using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and also use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Try brushing up and down as opposed to sideways, as this will wear down exposed tooth roots.
Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Foods after Dental Work
Possible Ailment
Sometimes dental treatments inflame the pulp inside the tooth and this may cause temporary sensitivity.
The sensitivity should go away on its own. If after four to six weeks it is still present, see your endodontist.
Pain When Biting Food
Possible Ailment
You may have tooth decay, a loose filling or a cracked tooth. You may also have damage to the pulp tissue inside your tooth.
Schedule an appointment with a dentist. If you do have a cracked tooth, your dentist will probably refer you to an endodontist. A root canal will probably be the solution in order to relieve the pain.
Lingering Pain After Eating Hot or Cold Foods
Possible Ailment
The pulp inside your tooth has been damaged by tooth decay or trauma.
An endodontist will likely perform a root canal to save your tooth and relieve the pain.
Constant Pain and Pressure, Swelling of Gums and Sensitive to Touch
Possible Ailment
Your tooth may have become abscessed, meaning there is puss in the tissue of the jaw bone at the end of the infected tooth.
Schedule an appointment with an endodontist. In the mean time, you may take over-the-counter medications to alleviate the pain.
Ache and Pressure in Upper Teeth and Jaw
Chronic Pain in Head, Neck or Ear
Possible Ailment
This pain can be caused by a sinus headache or bruxism, which is a condition of grinding your teeth.
If you have a sinus headache, take over-the-counter medications, including sinus medication. If you have bruxism, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Chronic Pain in Head, Neck or Ear
Possible Ailment
This could be caused by an infected tooth or other dental or medical problems.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist or endodontist.
Endodontic Exams

It is critical that you have regular endodontic examinations in order to prevent endodontic disease and/or other problems.

During your endodontic exam, we will ask you specific questions that will allow us to get an idea of the pain you have been experiencing. At that point a radiographic examination will take place to insure a proper diagnosis of the problem. This will allow your highly qualified doctor to view the insides of your teeth from different angles, seeing things that could easily be missed in a clinical examination alone.

Care and attention to your teeth is only important to your oral health, but it is vital to your overall health as well!

Thank you for putting your trust in us for your endodontic care. You should expect some discomfort following your treatment. This is normal and it is caused by the inflammatory process that accompanies root canal treatment. The good news is that it is short-lived, usually 1-3 days and peaking at about 24-48 hours. After this, you should expect to see improvement each day. The best over-the-counter control of discomfort is with 600 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours. For more pain control, 1000mg (2 extra-strength) of Tylenol can be taken in addition. If you cannot take Ibuprofen, use Tylenol instead.

Often, the Dr. will provide a prescription for moderate-to-severe pain. This is usually a prescription pain medication combined with Tylenol. Therefore, if you do need this medication, continue taking ibuprofen if possible and use the prescription in addition to the ibuprofen. Do not take the prescription pain medication with Tylenol.

If your treatment was a re-treatment or any tooth with an abscess present around it: Post-operative discomfort can often be moderate-to-severe following your appointment. The risk of this level of discomfort is higher than if there is not an abscess associated with the tooth. This is because, almost always, the disease in this tooth is due to a chronic bacterial infection. Following the procedure, your body’s immune system will become very active around this tooth, often resulting in pressure and/or throbbing during the first 24-72 hours. The best method of controlling discomfort is through the scheduled use of anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen or naproxen), antibiotics (that are often prescribed), and sometimes stronger prescription pain medications. The discomfort will subside. However, just like any inflammatory process, time will be the best healing factor.

If you have been provided any prescription(s) from our office, please take it as directed.

To minimize discomfort, avoid chewing on the tooth for several days. Treat the tooth like a sprained ankle — let it heal. Occasionally, post-operative discomfort can last for extended periods of time (3-6 months). This usually does not indicate failure of the root canal procedure. Every person heals at different rates. If you have questions, please contact our office.

If the gums around the tooth are irritated following the endodontic treatment, this may be due to placement of the rubber dam during treatment. Rinsing your mouth with warm water (if you choose, you may add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water) will speed up the healing. Warm water rinses should be repeated every three or four hours until the area is comfortable.

Upon completion of the root canal therapy, a temporary restoration is placed in the tooth to prevent possible recontamination of the root canal by saliva and bacteria. It is very important that you have a permanent restoration placed. The restoration for a posterior tooth should cover the entire biting surface of the tooth. This will help protect the root canal treated tooth and prevent possible fracture of the remaining tooth structure.

Please realize that should you neglect to return to your restorative (family) dentist for the proper restoration within one month that there is an increased risk of 1) non-healing of the endodontic therapy, 2) fracture of tooth and/or 3) premature loss of tooth. You may be financially responsible for any further endodontic treatment that is needed on this tooth should you neglect to have it restored in a timely manner (within 3-4 weeks).

Problems – if you have any questions or think that the post-treatment progress is not proceeding properly, please refer to our website for helpful information or contact our office at 563-209-9041.

Get in Touch

3664 Utica Ridge Road, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Call Us: 563-209-9041

Fax: 563-209-9042