Infected root canal?


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Aug 9, 2020
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Hi, I had a new crown fitted on Tuesday, on a bottom rear tooth. The crown was a replacement for a previous crown that had started to come off. The tooth was root filled over twenty years ago, although I’ve been told since by subsequent dentist that the root filling wasn’t great, as the dentist who had performed it hadn’t filled right down to the bottom, however the root filling has never bothered me. Anyway, after having a temporary crown on for 2 x weeks, with no trouble, I had the permanent crown fitted on Tuesday. By Wednesday it was starting to hurt, by Thursday it was really hurting, so I went back to the dentist. He said it was a bit high at the back and where I’d been catching it had jarred the socket and would have bruised it; he adjusted the crown and said I should start feeling better ina few days. Friday night I was in agony and got no sleep, Saturday morning the pain started to subside, but my face started to swell up. I went to the emergency dentist who gave me antibiotics and advised me to go back to my normal dentist on Monday, for X-rays to see why this has happened. Can anyone shed any light on why this might have happened to me? Thanks xx
 
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MattKW

Verified Dentist
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If the old crown had been coming off for some time, then reinfection was probably well started before you had the new crown. A poor quality root canal therapy (RCT) that's exposed to bacteria in the mouth can get easily reinfected.
You may have to see an endodontist to consider if a retreatment RCT through the new crown is warranted.
 

Dr M

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Good day

I agree with MattKW. If the previous crown was leaking, and the root canal was poorly done, it is possible that the infection could have been present already. It is also possible, that when the old crown was being removed, or during the prep of the new crown, a crack could have formed on the tooth-especially if the existing root canal is 20 years old, since the remaining tooth structure is no longer that strong. Either way, and endodontist would be the best specialist to go to, since he can assess the prognosis of the tooth and if a re-treatment through the crown is the way to go.
 

MattKW

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An infection does not always show up on an Xray. It is a response to the severity of the bacterial infection and the type of bacteria present. Incoming neutrophils cause localized tissue destruction and recruit osteoclasts and odontoclasts, which cause resorption of bone.
 
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