Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

February 14, 2018

Days of pain after a root canal treatment


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Dear Dr Hall,

I found your page on post root canal pain the be very reassuring, thank you.

I was hoping that you might be able to advise on my particular case.

I had quite a traumatic root canal (my first ever) done over 3 sessions in October 17. It remained painful so I didn’t get it crowned as I wanted to wait . The discomfort persisted and I was referred to an endodontist who after reviewing X-rays suggested that a canal might have been missed. Based on that I decided to have it redone.

During the procedure no missing canals were found. I could feel discomfort close to the bone where it felt raw and exposed, the root canal was completed and I was advised I would be in discomfort for a few days.

I am now on day 4 of immense discomfort and I intend to ring up for some advice tomorrow. I feel worried that things haven’t worked and I’ll have to have the tooth removed.

How long should it take to calm down do you think before I jump to conclusions and assume something nasty is happening in there? This has been a worry for 5 months now, I just don’t know what to do and I don’t want anybody else fiddling with my tooth anymore.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Michelle from the UK

Michelle,
The key in evaluating your tooth and whether or not the root canal treatment is successful or not isn’t how long you are in discomfort, but the direction the discomfort is going. Is it getting better, albeit slowly? If so, I’d be optimistic.

The fact that your endodontist predicted that this would hurt for a few days adds to my optimism here. If the treatment weren’t working, you could be having some increased swelling. I take it that isn’t happening in your case.

The root canal failure at the hands of your general dentist apparently wasn’t the result of a missed canal, but may have been an inadequate seal at the end of the root.

Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

September 9, 2017

Swelling after a tooth extraction


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Dr. Hall
The tooth right beside my lower left wisdom tooth was extracted last Wednesday. There was swelling already on my jaw before the extraction. After extraction, the dentist prescribed amoxicillin for the infection. After 3 days, the swelling has worsened and pain killers are no longer helpful. The swelling below my jaw hardened and is larger than half of a golf ball.
– Jem from the Philippines

Jem,
It sounds like your infection is getting worse, even with the antibiotics. You need to report this to your dentist and he or she should switch antibiotics. I don’t think your dentist has done anything wrong here—amoxicillin is a good first choice for an infection from a tooth. But there are many infections that won’t respond to amoxicillin, sometimes because the bacterial strain has developed amoxicillin resistance.

These infections in the jaw can become quite serious, so I wouldn’t mess around with this but work with your dentist to find an antibiotic that will get this infection under control.
– Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment or a question or anything else to add? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

April 29, 2011

Will a tooth infection spread to my brain?

i went to the dentist two days ago and was told that i have a small tooth infection and i was given a proscription for antibiotics but was told to not take it until a week before i come back to have the procedure done but i dont go back to have it done until two weeks into July i asked if i would be ok until then and i was told that the infection is so small that its little to none o i will be ok until then is there a such thing as that i just want to make sure because i know that tooth infection can spread to your brain and kill you so do you think i will be ok?
– Edwina from Maryland

Edwina,
Yes, there is a such a thing as a tooth infection being so small that you don’t need to worry about it affecting your general health. Usually that’s the case.

Yes, a tooth infection can get out of hand and then you’re right, it can spread to your brain. If it’s in the lower jaw, the swelling can also spread down your throat and complicate breathing.  But before it did that it would become painful and would swell up quite a bit.
Dr. Hall

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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