After struggling with persistent tooth pain for any length of time, a root canal can bring you welcome relief. If, on the other hand, you find that the root canal leaves you with more pain, there may be other problems that need to be addressed. Understanding some of the complications that can follow a root canal procedure will help you spot problems early, possibly allowing you to reach out to an emergency dental clinic for treatment before you experience much discomfort.
Residual bone infection can cause persistent pain after the root canal is completed. This usually happens when there's residual bacteria in the area where the root was. In most cases, it resolves easily on its own because there's no root left to feed the infection. You can also speed the healing by having your doctor or dentist prescribe an antibiotic. The antibiotic will eliminate the infection and help keep it from returning.
Any missed canal can also cause discomfort. Sometimes, a small canal is missed in the root canal process. If this happens, it leaves the nerve behind in that canal. Since small canals can be hard to detect, your dentist may not realize this has happened until you notice discomfort after the procedure. You may experience persistent sensitivity to temperature changes and pressure even after the procedure. In that case, you'll want to call your dentist right away to schedule a follow-up procedure. This is important because any root left behind could allow more bacteria to grow.
If you have a canal that's been overfilled after the procedure, this can lead to discomfort and pain. In most cases, if the canal is overfilled, you'll have some excess filling material pushing out of the tip by the root. Sometimes there is enough space for the material to go, but when there isn't, it will cause pressure, inflammation and other issues. Sometimes the discomfort settles out on its own after a few weeks, but in severe cases, you may need to have the excess filling extracted surgically.
These are three of the most common complications that can follow a root canal. If you haven't received the relief that you expected from your root canal procedure or you're struggling with one of these three issues, you should reach out to your dentist right away. He or she can do a thorough exam and help narrow down the source of the issue.