I had a root canal treatment a few years back. Last month my cheek started to ache near the spot that I had the root canal treatment. I called my dentist and he did some x-rays. It seems that the spot has re-infected. He did another root canal treatment and gave me some Penicillin. Ten days later, and I actually felt worse. He suggested that I give it some more time because some people take longer than others to heal. It’s been another week and I feel my cheek swelling up. How long should I expect it to take before I start to feel better? Is it reasonable to ask for a different antibiotic? I don’t think this one was working.
Your dentist is making two mistakes here. the first thing I want you to do is to call a root canal specialist. You have a dental emergency on your hands here. Let’s start with the antibiotic. Penicillin is not the best choice for a dental infection. These types of infections really need a stronger antibiotic in order to give your body the backup to heal. I would have suggested he provide you with Clyndimyacin. When you call the specialist, tell him or her what is going on and ask them to prescribe a more appropriate antibiotic.
The second mistake is not paying attention to your symptoms. When a root canal treatment is done, they can fail even when the dentist does everything right. That leads to a re-treatment. The problem is the chances of success go down significantly with each proceeding treatment. If it failed the first time, there is a greater chance it will fail the second time and even a larger chance of the third time. You have all the indications of the second treatment failing and he just wasn’t putting two and two together.
My hope is that your tooth can be saved by getting to a root canal specialist quickly. If it can’t, the next step is a tooth extraction. When that happens, you need to give serious thought to your tooth replacement. You don’t want to leave the space open. The adjacent teeth will begin to shift or tip into the empty space. This will throw off your bite and could lead to more serious issues such as TMJ disorder. The way to prevent this is to replace the tooth as soon as possible. If you’re looking for the best tooth replacement, I would recommend a dental implant. There are other options though which your dentist can go over with you should that become necessary.
First step, call that specialist right away.
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