Hi. My dentist did a root canal on a top-right molar about 4 months ago, and I think it is infected again. It might seem crazy that I may have a root canal emergency and I am trying to get help by writing you. However, I do not trust my dentist and am afraid of going back to him to get my tooth fixed. I need some help within the next day or two because I am in so much pain that I have already taken sick time from work. Although I work from home, I cannot focus because of the intense pain. If I chew on the tooth that had the root canal, the pain is so severe that I am almost on my knees. So, I try to remember not to let anything touch the tooth. Is it unfair to switch to another dentist that can get it right this time? – Alec from Dallas
Dr. Thomas would need to examine and x-ray your tooth for a diagnosis, but it does seem that your tooth is infected. It is important to see a dentist promptly to relieve your pain and then to re-do the root canal treatment.
It sounds as if the sealer material for the first treatment did not completely fill your tooth, or maybe your dentist did not remove all the infected tooth pulp. But your situation does not mean that your dentist is unable to correct it. If you are no longer comfortable with your dentist, you can get a second opinion.
It is important to see a dentist promptly to prevent the infection from spreading further. And it will continue to spread until a dentist removes it. You can do an online search for an emergency dentist and check their website to see whether the dentist has root canal experience. Otherwise, you can see an endodontist—a root canal specialist—for treatment.
Dr. Siny Thomas, a Sugar Land, Texas cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.