Root Canal Infection
Infection after a root canal treatment
After undergoing a root canal treatment, it’s common for the area to feel sore for around 3-5 days. This is because sensitive nerve endings have been exposed whilst the inside of the tooth is cleaned out and removed. It can take a few days for the tissue to return to normal and the pain to subside.
However, if you’re still noticing pain over a week after your root canal procedure, or if you have noticed pain in the tooth itself again, this could be a sign of infection.
Symptoms of an infection after a root canal procedure
The symptoms of an infection following a failed root canal treatment are often very similar to the symptoms you may have experienced when you first needed root canal therapy. These can include:
Lingering pain: As mentioned above, a little pain for a few days after the procedure is expected, but if the pain lingers for over a week, or you begin to notice a significant pain in the tooth itself, it may be a sign that infection is beginning to spread.
Swelling: Significant swelling inside your mouth or around your jaw may also be a sign of reinfection.
Discharge: If you notice an abnormal discharge from the area around the treated tooth, this could suggest that an abscess has formed due to reinfection.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you visit your dentist as soon as possible.
What causes infection after a root canal?
In some cases, bacteria can enter the root canal during the treatment, and if it does it won’t take long for infection to begin to form. This could be a result of one of the following complications:
Cracked tooth roots: Although root canals can be cleaned out and sealed, your dentist cannot treat a crack in the tooth’s roots; if bacteria then enters the cracks this can lead to infection.
Unfilled or missed canals: Root canals can fork out into several offshoots, and sometimes these offshoots can be too small for your dentist to detect and treat. When left untreated, these smaller parts can spread infection back into the tooth.
Technical complications: Technical issues with the procedure itself, such as broken instruments, can affect the success of a root canal treatment.
What can I do if my root canal has failed?
Whilst the majority of root canal treatments are highly successful, avoidable problems can occur if your dentist fails to take the proper care expected. If you believe that your root canal procedure has failed or you have developed an infection that could have been easily prevented, you may be entitled to compensation. At Dental Law Partnership, our team of expert Dental Negligence solicitors are on hand to help you at every step of the way; call us today on 0808 278 8202.