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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Root canals

02/13/2008

Question:

I have an old root canal and it has started to hurt in the past 48 hours. What will they do next to that tooth? Part of the tooth on the side cracked off.

Answer:

I am somewhat unclear on the details of your situation. There is no way for me to determine exactly what they will do with the tooth.

You stated that part of your tooth cracked off. In general, most root canal treated teeth should have crowns placed to help prevent fractures. Depending on the tooth and the crack, your tooth may be able to be repaired and a crown may be placed. If the fracture is too extensive, the tooth may not be able to be saved.

You also stated that your tooth is starting to hurt again. Root canal treated teeth can become reinfected, and when they do they may become symptomatic. If your tooth had a crack or decay, that may have allowed the root canal to become contaminated. If that is the case, you may need to have the root canal redone (if your tooth is able to be saved, see above).

I'm sure you can tell that there are numerous possibilities for treatment depending on the specifics of your situation. I recommend an evaluation by your local dentist or endodontist.

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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