Is My Root Canal Procedure Failing?

Tooth Cap

I am concerned that my root canal failed and will lead to an extraction and a dental implant, delaying the start of my Invisalign treatment. My dentist completed the root canal four days ago. I am taking ibuprofen and antibiotics just as she directed me. But I am still in pain. How do I know if I am going through root canal failure? Can my dentist repeat it before removing the tooth and replacing it with an implant? I am scheduled to begin Invisalign in January, but it’s the holiday season, and the root canal failure will probably delay everything. Thank you. Randolph from Ohio

Hello Randolph,

Thank you for your question. Although Dr. Vargas would need to examine your tooth and x-rays for an accurate diagnosis, we will explain what you can expect after root canal treatment.

Is Your Root Canal Treatment Failing?

Discomfort after root canal treatment is not unusual and does not mean the procedure failed. The discomfort may peak in a day or two and progressively improve. When your dentist cleans infected tooth pulp, some material can go through the tip and into the tissue that meets your jawbone. Your tooth can become sore and sensitive, and your gums can swell. The sensitivity and inflammation can worsen after you bite or chew.

Should You Be Concerned About Pain After Root Canal Treatment?

Although improvement may be slow, schedule an appointment with your dentist if your discomfort increases or persists. Some dentists minimize the discomfort after root canal treatment by adjusting the tooth so the opposing tooth will not touch it when you bite down. Reducing the tooth prevents painful impact from the tooth that would meet it when you bite down.

Can Your Dentist Repeat Root Canal Treatment?

Achieve optimal oral health before getting Invisalign.

If a root canal treatment fails, a dentist can repeat it. Sometimes a dentist will refer you to a root canal specialist (endodontist) for treatment. An endodontist would examine your X-rays to see if your dentist missed any canals. Repeat root canal treatment can help prevent the need for tooth removal and a dental implant.

When your tooth is stable, you can begin Invisalign treatment without interrupting it later to care for the root canal tooth.