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Dentistry/Root canal perforation and irrigation


I had a root canal done today and the root was perforated, and not realizing it the dentist was irrigating because it started bleeding, and I got a sudden, and severe burning and swelling in my face. They immediately tried rinsing and suctioning out the bleach solution. My face is swollen and I was given Tylenol 3 for pain, but not very much after care information.  What is the best thing to do? Wondering if I should go to work tomorrow or rest? How long is the swelling supposed to last, and what are the chances of permanent tissue damage? Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Still experiencing a slight burning sensation 3 hours after procedure was completed.

Hi Luv-Ann,
I'm sorry to hear you had this happen. Unfortunately, I do hear of these situations from time to time and it is VERY distressing to both the dentist and especially the patient. At this point, there is not much to be done except try to stay comfortable. Since this is now the next morning, I suspect things are already somewhat better. The chances of any permanent damage are very remote, but it sure is uncomfortable as it resolves. I can't tell you exactly how long it will take for things to get back to normal because ever patient is different, however, you will heal just fine. As far as work goes, like I said, you just need to do what makes you feel better for the next day or two. Going to work will not hurt you, but you might feel better staying at home or maybe work will help take your mind off the's really your call.

I hope this helps some. I know it hard to go through this, but you will get better.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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