Five days ago my dentist completed a root canal treatment on my back molar. Dentist took last x-ray and saw that the sealed gutta percha was extending past the apex of the tooth. The pain was immediate upon closure of crown. Pain level is 7 on scale of 10, with a fullness in lower jaw area. Returning tomorrow for check-up and prophy and believe I need antibiotics. What can be done to recify this situation? Would like to keep the tooth if possible, as it is part of a dental bridge.
- Stephanie from an Army base in Europe
Just because the gutta percha is extended past the end of the tooth doesn’t mean that the tooth won’t heal. This is called a root canal overfill, and it is possible that nothing needs to be done.
Let me explain.
In a root canal treatment the dentist removes the infected tissue from the inside of the tooth, cleans it out, and seals the tooth with gutta percha. It’s necessary to have the end of the tooth (the apex) sealed so that body substances and bacteria can’t get in. So the important question is whether or not the tooth is sealed. If the gutta percha doesn’t go far enough, then it isn’t sealed. If it squirts through the end of the tooth, it will hurt, but it may well be sealed just fine.
You want to see what happens over time. Take the antibiotics. You may need pain medication. If the tooth gradually starts to feel better, then I would leave well enough alone. You’ll want to have an x-ray taken after maybe six months or so to verify that there is good healing in the bone at the end of the tooth, and if that is the case, then this root canal treatment should serve you well for your lifetime.
If the tooth doesn’t heal properly, I’d wait until you are in the states and have a root canal specialist (endodontist) re-treat the tooth.
This blog is sponsored by Boca Raton sedation dentist Dr. David Kagan