• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Is my root canal healing properly?

T

Tonywin

Junior member
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Messages
2
For the past 3 years I've lived with an infection on my upper molar(#3). I finally had had worked up the nerve to do something about it. It was very much infected, I went through probably the worst pain of my life. I had an abscess that would come and go throughout those 3 years. Before the root canal, the tooth had no pain but I still felt pressure high up in my gums so I knew the infection was still there.

i went to the endodontist 3 days ago and asked if this tooth could be saved with a root canal or should I have it extracted. He didn't seem worried at all and said a root canal would save the tooth! The rct went really well and he cleaned out all 4 of my canals in one visit! I need to go to my dentist and get a crown on it.

Today, my tooth is still very sensitive and I even noticed a white ball of pus forming above it. The area above the tooth is very tender and painful. I also have some light swelling, nothing too crazy.

My question is, is this normal? Since my tooth was so heavily infected and left untreated for so long? My endo told me the infection should go away within 6-12 months. But it's been flaring up. I've been given antibiotics and on day 4/5. Will the infection go away on its own? Or is this a sign the root canal has failed??
 
D

drm

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
285
Location
United States
This is relatively common after having a root canal on a tooth with an abscess. The swelling and pain should slowly decrease over the next several weeks / month as your body works to heal the infected area. The root canal only takes care of the source of the infection but your body still has to heal the damage from it.
 
T

Tonywin

Junior member
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Messages
2
This is relatively common after having a root canal on a tooth with an abscess. The swelling and pain should slowly decrease over the next several weeks / month as your body works to heal the infected area. The root canal only takes care of the source of the infection but your body still has to heal the damage from it.

Thank you for putting my mind at ease!! :)
 
B

badmouth

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
48
Location
PNW
Wow, an infection from a tooth can take months to heal? I've done a lot of reading, and I've never seen this before! Can it hurt the entire time it is healing?
 
D

drm

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
285
Location
United States
It usually doesn't hurt nearly that long. Most people have some pretty good soreness for a couple of weeks that fades into very slight biting discomfort before going away. The bone around the tooth can definitely take months to heal. Most root canal specialists won't take a follow-up x-ray for an entire year because sometimes it can take that long for the bone to fill back in entirely.
 
Z

zeezee22

Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
27
It usually doesn't hurt nearly that long. Most people have some pretty good soreness for a couple of weeks that fades into very slight biting discomfort before going away. The bone around the tooth can definitely take months to heal. Most root canal specialists won't take a follow-up x-ray for an entire year because sometimes it can take that long for the bone to fill back in entirely.


I had a root canal done on my front tooth about 8 weeks ago and it is still tender. I went back to the endodontist and he said that he recommended an Apicectomy. I am worried and scared about this, but know I have to make a decision soon. The root canal was a retreat, but it is still sore and my top lip keeps swelling now. Can anyone give me advice on this as to what is going on. Is an infection causing the top lip to swell. When I asked the endodontist for some antibiotics, he would not give me any. He seems not to give any antibiotics no matter how much pain you are in. Should I get a second opinion. As this is the front tooth, the other decision would be to extract and have done with all the pain. Would then need to think about replacing.
 
D

drm

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
285
Location
United States
Swelling of your lip would likely indicate that the infection is still active. The current guidelines for antibiotics are to not give them unless there is significant facial swelling. This is in response to the development of many types of antibiotic resistant bacteria today.

A well done apicoectomy can have a high success rate.

Your other option would be to have the tooth extracted and an implant placed. Implant success rates are right around 95%.

Either way can be a good option depending on your finances, risk tolerance, etc. In general, an apicoectomy is going to cost you less but you'll likely still end up losing the tooth at some point in the next 5-15 years. An implant is likely going to cost you quite a bit more but is probably the more predictable long term option.
 
Z

zeezee22

Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
27
Swelling of your lip would likely indicate that the infection is still active. The current guidelines for antibiotics are to not give them unless there is significant facial swelling. This is in response to the development of many types of antibiotic resistant bacteria today.

A well done apicoectomy has a success rate over 90% according to current studies.

Your other option would be to have the tooth extracted and an implant placed. Implant success rates are right around 95%.

Either way can be a good option depending on your finances, risk tolerance, etc. In general, an apicoectomy is going to cost you less but you'll likely still end up losing the tooth at some point in the next 5-15 years. An implant is likely going to cost you quite a bit more but is probably the more predictable long term option.
Thank you for your reply. I have a decision to make. Apicoectomy may help, but will cost money that may be wasted if it does not work and then have to have it extracted. It is hard to make the decision, especially as whichever way I go, I have some traumatic dental procedures ahead. Scared either way.
 
Top