Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Root Canals

2 mo. old root canal and tooth is aching.

11/30/2007

Question:

My husband had a root canal 2 mos. ago with serious complications (emergency room visit, 104 temp, massive infection, abnormal vital signs). Once they administered IV antibiotics, fever broke and he began to recover. A follow up with his physician 2 days later revealed an inner ear infection as well which was treated with stronger oral antibiotics. He recovered fine with no residual tooth pain until now. It has a dull ache (still has temp filling which is intact). Can the infection return once the tooth has had a root canal?

Answer:

It is possible that the temporary filling is now leaking, and the tooth is becoming reinfected. It is unclear from your question whether or not the root canal was actually finished at the first appointment. If it wasn't, then recontamination of the canals is possible.

Depending on the temporary filling material, most should be replaced within a month to ensure that recontamination does not occur. The returning pain may also be associated with another problem such as sinusitis or the return of the ear infection.

I would have the dentist/endodontist check the tooth before a permanent filling is put in to be sure that recontamination has not occurred and that the temporary has maintained its seal. They should also try to determine if the pain he is experiencing is coming from that treated tooth and not another source.

For more information:

Go to the Root Canals health topic, where you can:

Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University