Potential Side Effects of Root Canal Treatment

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Oral health emergencies are a common occurrence and require prompt attention, because any delay can lead to tooth loss or be life-threatening. One of those is an emergency root canal. NYC dental specialists, also known as endodontists, resort to this treatment to save your tooth from extraction, while also curing the infection.

A root canal is an endodontic treatment performed to cure infection from inside the tooth. To carry out this procedure, the doctor makes an opening in the crown, the exposed part, to gain access to the pulp, which extends from the crown to the root. The pulp is full of life, consisting of blood vessels, nerves, and tissues; hence, it is prone to bacterial infections. Bacterial infections can cause a series of issues, including inflamed pulp, inflamed ligaments, and pulp abscesses (pockets of pus).

When performed by a qualified and experienced specialist, this treatment has a high success rate, with patients reporting immediate pain relief. However, like any medical procedure, some patients do report side effects after an emergency root canal. NYC oral health practitioners advise patients to look out for these possible side effects:

1. Color Change
Discoloration of a treated tooth is a possibility; however, this is reported by a small percentage. As mentioned, the pulp is full of life, so a bacterial infection in this area leads to permanent removal of the pulp. This means the tooth could die due to a lack of nutrients, which nourished it and kept it a perfect white color. Discoloration can be fixed by visiting a cosmetic dentist, who might prescribe crowns or veneers.

2. Infections
Even though it seldom happens, the treated tooth may be infected, which also increases the chance of bacteria spreading to the surrounding area. There are various reasons this might happen, such as bacteria entering during treatment or a missed infected canal. You can experience swelling, pus, or fever if there is an infection after an emergency root canal. NYC dentists advise returning immediately for treatment if you suspect this may have occurred.

3. Tooth Cracking
The treated tooth can easily crack because of the absence of the pulp, which kept it strong, moisturized, and nourished before the procedure. A crack provides an entrance to bacteria, which can lead to more infections. To prevent this, crowns can be fitted after an emergency root canal. (NYC dentists often recommend crowns to provide additional strength.)

4. Root Fracture
In rare occurrences, a fracture may occur during or after the procedure. Sometimes the fracture may arise before the treatment due to tooth decay or pre-existing cracks that are invisible. If you suspect any fracture, you should visit the dentist immediately to discuss possible treatment options available.

5. Sinus Congestion
Another possible side effect is sinus congestion. The sinus cavity is close to or has some connection with the mouth and everything in it. Therefore, after the procedure, the liquid from the treated tooth can penetrate through the membranes of your nose, causing irritation. You might experience signs that include headaches, congestion, and a continuous salty taste in your mouth after an emergency root canal. NYC endodontists advise that these side effects may last a few weeks after the treatment; however, if they persist, you should visit the dentist to have an examination done.

Any medical procedure has possible side effects, and a root canal is no different. However, the success rate of this treatment is high, and patients report immediate pain relief, while relatively few experience possible side effects, especially if they’ve been treated by a highly qualified specialist. Therefore, it is important to visit a professional dentist with extensive experience in performing emergency root canals. NYC patients who undergo this treatment need to follow the advice of these doctors before and after the procedure to reduce the side effects that may follow.

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