Category Archives: Root Canals

Can you get more than one root canal on a tooth?

I had a root canal two years ago from my dentist. I trust him and he usually does a great job. Recently, though, I have been feeling some pain on that same tooth.  I’ve been told before about pain in the teeth being projected (I think it was called) from another hurting tooth. I’m pretty sure that must be it because you can’t get a root canal twice in the same tooth, right?

Pat

Dear Pat,

toothacheThere are times when pain from a tooth is projected, or referred, from another tooth. In your case, though, it truly may be that you are feeling pain from the same tooth that had the root canal.

In most instances where a root canal is completed, the tissue, or pulp, in the tooth is completely cleaned out of the spaces and canals. Then the canals are sealed so bacteria can’t reenter. A crown is put on top and the patient goes home without another thought about the infection in the tooth.

So how come you may need another root canal?

Unfortunately, not all teeth are created equally. Most molars, for example, have three canals leading down to the roots. Every once in a while, those molars either have a fourth canal leading down or the canals are twisted and at angles that make it difficult for a dentist, even a good, competent dentist, to completely clean out the pulp. If that infected area isn’t completely cleaned out or properly sealed, it may cause pain again as infection grows. If that happens, a second or maybe even a third root canal may be necessary.

These scenarios of root canals aren’t common, but they do happen. If your pain continues, you may want to revisit your dentist to check your tooth. He may retreat it or may refer you to an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canal treatment.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.