In 2017, I had a root canal on my top right second molar. Earlier this year, I felt pain in the tooth on and off, and now it hurts daily. The pain is not intense but uncomfortable enough to interfere with eating. And sometimes, I take ibuprofen to calm it. Is it too late for repeat root canal treatment? And why is the tooth hurting now after six years? Thank you. Todd from Houston
Thank you for your question. We are sorry to hear about the problems with your root canal tooth. Although Dr. Imam would need to examine and x-ray your tooth, we will explain some causes of pain years after root canal treatment.
Reasons for Pain Years After a Root Canal
If a root canal tooth hurts years after failure, it is often due to root canal failure or a cracked tooth.
Root canal failure
Sometimes a tooth does not heal completely, and the infection flares later. It can be challenging for a dentist to clean the infection from curved canals in tooth roots. If any infection remains, the tooth will become problematic later.
Sometimes a tooth cracks beneath a filling or crown. The damage will cause infection and pain. When a root canal tooth cracks, it can be challenging to save it. A specialist may recommend tooth removal and a dental implant. Your dentist will restore the implant with a dental crown.
What Is the Treatment for Root Canal Failure?
The treatment for root canal failure is retreatment or root canal surgery. Some dentists have advanced training in root canal therapy, but most refer their patients to a specialist. So, a root canal specialist (endodontist) performs the procedure because of the instruments and techniques required to access and remove the infection.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, after repeat root canal treatment, a specialist will use a tool to magnify and illuminate your tooth to ensure infected tissue is removed.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist for an examination and x-ray to determine why your root canal tooth hurts.
San Antonio cosmetic dentist Mohamed Imam sponsors this post.