Root canal x-rays are an important diagnostic tool that provides valuable information about the condition of your tooth and the extent of any infection or damage.
In the majority of cases, you will notice some type of symptom that indicates an infected root canal. Although, there are cases where there are no symptoms and the infection will only be found by your dentist on an x-ray.
Darkening of the Tooth
When the tissues in the root canals develop an infection, they go dark brown, changing the color of the tooth. Throughout root canal therapy, the dentist extracts the darkened tooth material, and the tooth will be capped with a crown, improving the appearance of the tooth.
Effect on tooth pulp – Tooth pulp includes the living tissue and nerves inside the tooth. Root canal treatment removes infected pulp. When the dark area on your x-ray isn't near the pulp, you don't need root canal treatment. On an x-ray, it might seem that the dark area is between the filling and tooth pulp.
No changes around the end of the root will be seen on the X-ray in early pulpitis; the tooth radiographically will appear normal. However, teeth that have become infected and have lost their vitality (i.e. the nerve has died) can show a range of changes.
It's possible for your tooth to become infected, even after a root canal. When this happens, it is usually because a filling leaks and allows bacteria from your saliva to get around the edges of the new filling. Once that bacteria enters the canal, it can create infection within a few days.
A root canal infection brings severe pain in its wake. The pain intensifies when you bite down or place pressure on the affected tooth. Additionally, you may experience tooth sensitivity when you eat hot or cold food and drinks. The pain can also originate from inflammation of the gums.
What can be done? A tooth that becomes re-infected after a root canal is not hopeless. A second root canal may be able to be performed on the tooth. If the problem is more complex, an apicoectomy performed by an endodontist may be necessary.
Although the antibiotics minimize the swelling and the infection, it will not heal the tooth. Your symptoms may subside, but they will quickly return if the tooth is not treated with root canal therapy because the source of the issue has not been resolved, such as decay.
Infections in a tooth encourage your mouth bacteria to get to the dental pulp causing nerve damage. It is why pulling a tooth while infected is recommended by dentists to prevent additional damage to your mouth.
If a fully developed tooth infection is left untreated, it wouldn't take more than a few weeks or maybe months in some fortunate cases for the tooth infection to start spreading to the other parts and tissues of the body and lead to serious life-threatening complications – Once a tooth infection gets to such a point, ...
A tooth that has an abscess at its root is generally sensitive to touch or pressure. Recommend an X-ray. An X-ray of the aching tooth can help identify an abscess. Your dentist may also use X-rays to determine whether the infection has spread, causing abscesses in other areas.
How Dental Infections and Oral Pathology can be Missed on Bitewing X-rays! Bitewing dental X-rays are commonly used at regular hygiene or check-up visits to detect dental caries. Unfortunately, they have limited field of view and do not show the entire roots and their surrounding structures.
Reasons for Pain Years Later Following a Root Canal
Sometimes a tooth does not fully heal, and the infection returns later. Cleaning the infection from curved canals in tooth roots can be difficult for a dentist. If the infection persists, the tooth will become problematic in the future.
To treat the infection in the root canal, the bacteria need to be removed. This can be done by either: removing the bacteria from the root canal system (root canal treatment) removing the tooth (extraction)
Some common signs to help you identify an infection after a root canal procedure are: Persistent pain and increased tooth sensitivity. The formation of an abscess on or in front of the root tip. Tooth discolouration.
While it does not happen very often, it is possible for a tooth to still get infected after undergoing a root canal procedure. There are a few different reasons why re-infection can occur, making it essential for every dental patient to understand these reasons so they can avoid experiencing another tooth infection.
Even after months or years, you might experience signs of failed root canal. This could be heightened tooth sensitivity or occasional pain. Some of these symptoms are similar to those that lead to the emergency root canal in the first place.
In the case of throbbing pain after a root canal, the culprit is the bone surrounding the tooth. The bone tissue becomes irritated and provokes some discomfort. For most patients, this is very mild. In rare cases, it can be more serious.
The signs of a root canal failure may include: Tooth sensitivity or root canal pain when biting down. A pimple or boil on the jaw. Discoloration of the tooth.
Flare up is a postoperative pain that starts shortly after root canal therapeutic procedures and is manifested as pain and/or swelling episodes, requiring urgent treatment with an unscheduled appointment (Siqueira, 2003).