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Root Canals

Recent root canal

12/27/2006

Question:

I just had a root canal done yesterday. It was basically an emergency root canal because I was supposed to wait a couple days for my antibiotics to start working but I woke up with the whole front right side of my face swollen in the middle of the night. The root canal was done on tooth 7.

I was just curious how long it takes for swelling to go down and also the tooth right next to it hurt at the same time as the other tooth, but after the root canal it doesnt, was just wondering on how long for swelling and its not possible to have 2 abcesses right next to each other and so forth is it?

Answer:

Once your body has reacted to a particular environment (swelling has started), it takes some time for everything to get back to normal. Antibiotics have to be taken for a couple of days before they will really start to have some effect. Once swelling has started, it may continue to increase over a period of a few days.

A very general answer is that the progression is an increase in swelling with a peak at about day 3 and then a recovery that lasts about 7 days. This varies greatly between people since many other factors need to be considered (i.e. antibiotics, medical history, tooth condition, etc.). As far as the other tooth is concerned, it is not unusual for many teeth in the area to hurt when there is an infected tooth since the inflammation is not limited to just the area around one tooth.

Without conducting my own exam, it is impossible for me to say whether this is due to the infected tooth or whether you have more than one tooth involved. The best way to address this is to have the primary problem addressed (as you did with the root canal) and then have the other tooth re-evaluated after the symptoms from the primary problem resolve.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University