Dentistry/root canal

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Question
Dr. Teig, I recently went in for a retreatment of a root canal. My endodontist has decided that it's better to split the procedure in 2 appointments. For the first appointment, he said that he was going to put in some medication on my tooth. He said that would be better. Then finish off the rest in my next appointment which is next week. Right now, my tooth is still sore. When I tap on it, it's still sore. Is that normal? Do I have to wait until he finishes off the root canal first? Second of all, after a retreatment of a tooth does the tooth become even weaker? Is it weaker when the endodontist has not finished off the root canal yet and only completed the first appointment? Thanks!

Answer
Michele - Any root canal tooth is become more fragile and can break.  A retreatment of the tooth will should remove and residual living tissue within the tooth.  This will definitely allow the tooth to be brittle.  For that reason a crown is usually placed around the tooth to make it structurally sounder.  

The fact that it is sore is not unusual.  The ligament that holds the tooth to the bone surrounding the tooth becomes inflamed often during root canal treatment and that can make it sore.  Wait for the root canal is finished and the soreness should get better quickly, as long as the root canal was done properly.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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