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What If An Infection After Root Canal Procedure Develops?

Get the truth about root canal infections and why they happen.

Infection After Root Canal ProcedureRoot canals tend to have a bad wrap when it comes to dental procedures. Many fear that a root canal can be extremely painful and perhaps a traumatizing experience. The truth is that root canals don’t have to be that way at all. In fact, with the latest techniques at Penn Dental Family Practice, receiving a root canal is equivalent to receiving a filling.

At Penn Dental Family Practice our endodontic specialists are here to guide you through every step of the way during your root canal procedure. In some cases, one must be careful of infections. Some infections, which could be caused by an abscess, form before the root canal is performed, while others experience an infection after root canal procedure has been completed.

Why does this happen? Did the dentist not perform the root canal correctly? Let’s take a look at the procedure and what it entails.

An Infection After Root Canal Procedure – Causes & Treatment

When Are Root Canals Needed?

Root canals are needed when a tooth becomes so full of decay that it reaches the pulp (or life of the tooth). The pulp is made up of nerves and blood vessels which is the trigger for the pain one can experience.

Sometimes, there can be a trauma to the tooth which may cause discoloration (sometimes indicating that the tooth is dead) or an abscess can occur – without the overwhelming amount of decay that you may think. In these instances, you may still need a root canal.

How Are Root Canals Treated?

If you are experiencing an infection before your root canal procedure is performed, you may have an antibiotic prescribed to you in order to treat the infection itself. If you have an active infection during root canal therapy, there is a chance the infection blocks the anesthetic from working and numbing the area.

During the root canal procedure, the dentist will remove the pulp, and the inside of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed.

Is There Root Canal Pain After Procedure?

Typically, you should not have immense pain after a root canal procedure. You may have some tenderness in your jaw, as your mouth was open for a period of time and it may become sore —but there should be absolutely no feeling in that tooth since the nerve has been removed.

Can You Develop An Infection After a Root Canal?

Yes. It is not typical to develop an infection after root canal procedure has been finished, but this can happen. Infections can appear anywhere from a week to a decade after a root canal has been performed. Some of the reasons include:

  • There was a canal left unclean because that tooth had an abnormal amount of canals that were not seen
  • An undetected crack in the tooth’s root
  • A defective restoration was used over the root canal, allowing bacteria to get in and recreate an infection
  • The sealing placed may experience a breakdown over time, allowing the bacteria to contaminate the inside of the tooth.

How Is An Infection After a Root Canal Treated?

When a root canal is treated for the second time, it is more commonly referred to as a retreatment. A retreatment is performed the same way as a typical root canal procedure, including the use of antibiotics. If a retreatment is not sufficient, there is a surgery that can be performed known as an apicoectomy. This procedure relieves the infection from accessing the bony area around the tooth, instead of through the top of the tooth.

For more information on how an infection after root canal procedure can be performed for your specific condition, make an appointment with Penn Dental Family Practice – or give us a call at 215-898-PDFP (7337).


Related Tags: Infection After Root Canal Procedure | Root Canal Infection