I had a root canal treatment several years ago. Three weeks ago, the tooth started hurting again. I went to see my dentist again. He mentioned it is infected again. I came in the next day for him to re-treat the root canal and he gave me some pain meds and an antibiotic. I had a few days of sort of relief, but the pain seems to be worse than ever. I am in complete agony. I called him back worried because I am out of pain meds. He’s refilled my prescription and said that some people just have a longer recovery time. Is that the case or should I be worried about something else?
If I understand you correctly, your pain started to subside and then returned. That is a bad sign and I do not think your dentist is handling your tooth infection properly. It is not unusual for a root canal treatment to fail, even if the dentist does everything right. However, once it does fail, the chances of a successful retreatment go down with each attempt. A wise dentist will keep an eye out for that so the patient does not end up with a dental emergency. I think that is where you are now.
I want you to call and ask for a referral to an endodontist. They are root canal specialists. Call their office right away and explain the situation. If they cannot get you in right away, they will prescribe you an antibiotic to help keep the infection in check. Don’t delay this or it will get worse and spread.
If it turns out the tooth cannot be saved, then the only other course of action is a tooth extraction. You will want to replace the tooth if that happens If you don’t, the other teeth will drift into the open spot, which will throw off your bite and lead to pain and possibly even TMJ disorder. A good tooth replacement is a dental implant.
This blog is brought to you by Enfield Dentist Dr. Cumminsky.