Mary there is usually one but it can have two or even one that splits at the apex.
Should have included... I had a root canal yesterday on #13. I was thinking that #13 had at least two canals and hopefully no small root trails that I know are hard to find. This tooth has been sensitive for some years. It has gotten a little worse with some tenderness in my cheek so I had it xrayed. There was sign of infection around the whole root. Today, one day after my root canal, I feel more pain, some throbbing, and more swelling then I had before the root canal yesterday. Should I be alarmed? Will waiting through the weekend be safe? The graduate Endo student that did my root canal was excellent and said that I only had one canal and also said that I did not need to take an antibiotic. He said that I shouldn't be alarmed unless I had bad pain or large swelling. I have had multiple root canals and have never had any problem or pain after the fact. What do you think may be going on? Thanks for your help and suggestions. Mary
I had my root canal with a temperary filling Friday. It was swollen yesterday with pain and is even more swollen today with pain. I will try to see if the emergency clinic will see patients on Sunday.
That tooth generally has one canal, but it can have two or more.
I would suspect that an endo specialty student should have identified all the canals, but sometimes there can be tricky anatomy that can throw the result off. One other possibility might be that the apical abscess in the alveolar bone is flaring up with no path of exit since the root canal was completed.
In the presence of a lot of draining pus in the root canal system, sometimes antibiotics or a delay in finishing to allow drainage is a good idea. As is it now, hopefully someone can see you to determine whether antibiotics or a retreatment might be in order.
Thanks for your reply. I did go in yesterday, (day 4) for a re-opening of the root canal which had not been finalized and still has not. The Dr. could not get the tooth to drain through itself but another Dr. advisor said that he thought the infection had dispersed so the Incision and Drain wasn't done. I started Amoxicillin yesterday and my 24 hour period isn't quite up yet. (Two more hours.) They said that the medicine wouldn't work for at least 24 hours. I started the treatment taking two 500mg pills. Today I feel more swollen with swelling into my lip, lower down my cheek to my jaw bone, and another bulge up under my eye which is purple-ish. Should I be alarmed? The pain I feel seems to be in the bone area and is controllable with ibuprofen. There is no pain when biting down on the tooth accept for a little tenderness from treatment yesterday. I read an article about Apicoectomy this morning and I'm wondering if this is where my case is headed? What would you suggest. Thanks again for your reply.
I am a little confused. I thought that you had said the root canal procedure was completed. It sounds like it was open and drained previously then? They didn't actually complete it? In any case complete or not, I am alarmed by the increase in swelling especially under the eye. I do not wish to alarm you, but you may be developing a cellulitis especially if there was no drainage into the tooth with an abscess that has been present for quite some time.
Amoxcillin is a good antibiotic, but I find that with more aggressive strains of bacteria, Clindamycin 300-450 mg every six hours for a week is required. Cipro or Flagyl might be some alternatives to use, but I find Clindamycin generally is quite effective although pseudomembranous colitis can be a complication in rare cases. I would say that if the swelling gets a lot worse or if after 2-3 days it does not improve any, contact the dentist to let them know.
It does take some time for antibiotics to reach maximum blood plasma levels. I'm just wondering though if the Amoxicillin will be able to take of it for you. I'm just a general dentist and certainly no endodontic specialist so do take that into account. I consider any facial swelling that is increasing to be something serious that requires aggressive care and attention. Definitely if it gets much worse, I would recommend going to the emergency clinic to be examined if you can't get in quickly to the endodontist.
Please feel free to contact me on my website if you require any further assistance or information as I only check medhelp one a day. BTW apicoectomy may or may not be indicated in your case don't worry about that quite yet. The immediate concern is the swelling.
Thanks for your comments. The pain has subsided greatly today but the swelling is still there but not as bad. I have a seperate little mound of swelling under my eye. It was a light purple-ish in color but seems less so today. It seems better today also, although I can still "see" it, meaning that I can see it in my vision. Since you mention cellulitis, that makes more sense. It's not a firm swelling and isn't connected with the area above the tooth which has been very tender but better today, not gone by any means. I was planning to go back to work tomorrow. I will be standing all day and work directly with the public. It will be a very strenuous day. Do you think it's OK to go to work? I am almost 60. Can cellulitis be dangerous so close to the eye? I haven't even discussed this with my student dentist. I think I did tell you that he is already a DR. and is in grad. school. I just hate to seem frivolousto him. My personal concern has been the infection so close to the sinus and the brain. I hadn't even thought about my eye even though the Dr. in charge said to put me on Amoxicillin because of the swelling under my eye. Will Amoxicillin be appropriate? Can it take care of cellulitis?
About sealing the crown. The filling was temporary on Friday and on Monday. I'm not sure why he didn't finalize it Monday. He opened it back up and cleaned it out again and tried to get it to drain but it wouldn't. When you say leave it open, you don't mean the actual canal do you? Wouldn't more bacteria get into the canal if left open?
I appreciate your comments and insite. Now I'm a little concerned about the cellulitis situation because the swelling under my eye is apart from the area above my tooth. I look forward to hearing from you. If you think you need to contact me, my email is ***@****. Thanks again. Mary
A related discussion, crowns vs. splinted teeth