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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT



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Root Canals Ask The Dentist Richard Winter Question:
Root Canal Fails - Dentist full of Baloney?
2 years ago I had a root canal performed through a crown by my regular dentist.

I have been experiencing some pain in the tooth especially while brushing and mentioned it to my dentist in last month. He said "we'll just watch it for a while". Last week I started to develop a lump at the base of the tooth.

My dentist said "sometimes this happens with a root canal" and mentioned something about the tooth could be leaking. He has put me on antibiotics but he says this will only be a temporary cure.

He wants to send me to a gum specialist to save the tooth. What does he mean when he says the tooth may be leaking?

Is this guy full of baloney and trying to cover his tracks? Is this common and will I always have pain? ...Visitor from AZ

Answer:
Without x-rays of before and after as well as the root canal x-rays, I can not judge whether any problems exist with your root canal.

It is possible that a root canal tooth can fail without any one being to blame! Root Canal success can be from 82% effective on up. So they are not always successful.

Root canals are initiated due to a bacterial infection in the nerve of the tooth that renders it un-saveable without removing the nerve. Sometimes these bacteria can remain in the bone and be dormant til something stirs up the bees nest.

Perhaps you now have a periodontal problem that caused the endodontic problem to become active - gum disease can cause endodontic failure. Perhaps the dentist missed a canal, or had problems removing the entire nerve.

Either way, you can get a second opinion from another dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) then be seen by a periodontist to confirm a diagnosis. Either way, if a lump has formed, it is either from a gum problem, a nerve problem or a combination of the two.

Antibiotics will calm it down while it is assessed and treated.

As far as leakage is concerned, if the crown doesn't fit, lack of a good seal of the tooth will also lead to failure of the Root Canal. So a poor root canal, poor crown, poor filling or perio problems can all contribute to micro leakage that would cause your tooth to fail.

Note if your dentist is sending you to a gum specialist, you probably have a periodontal abcess or an area of pus that is infecting the tooth below the gum. This is no fault of a dentist, but due to presence of bacteria from periodontal pockets.

Wisconsin Reconstructive Implant Dentistry
Wisconsin Prosthodontics
Richard Winter, DDS MAGD
Winter Dental Associates
Hampton Dental Associates
5323 W. Hampton Avenue
Milwaukee Wisconsin WI 53218
(414) 464-9021

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