I had a root canal treatment a couple of years ago that started hurting. I am not fond of the dentist under the best of circumstances, but I eventually went to the dentist as it became too hard to bear. He did an x-ray and said there is a new infection and did a re-treatment along with an antibiotic. I started to feel better but then a few days ago it started to hurt again. I called the office and my dentist said it takes some people longer to get better than others. It’s been almost two weeks now. What is the longest it should take me to get better?
I’m not sure if the dentist you are seeing understands how tooth infections work. It sounded like you said this started to feel better and then began to get worse again. That is a particularly bad sign and means that your tooth infection has flared back up. That is serious and I would consider it a dental emergency.
I’d like you to see a root canal specialist this time. You should be aware that when a root canal treatment fails, the re-treatment will only be successful between 50-75% of the time. It sounds like your second one failed. This will continue to spread until it is treated properly. If the infection cannot be resolved, the only other option is to extract the tooth and replace it.
Please don’t put this off. When you call to schedule your appointment, let them know you are on the wrong antibiotic so they can call in a stronger prescription.
A Word about Dental Anxiety
You mentioned that you are not typically comfortable at the dentist. I want you to know that there are dentists who are especially compassionate with anxious patients and can help you. Not only do they have techniques to put patients at ease, but many of them offer medication that can completely relax you. Most of them will advertise as a sedation dentist. I’d like you to look for one who offers oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill. However, it is so strong you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.