Root canal tooth re-infected

Hi, Its 3 in the morning and I am suffering in a great deal of pain. I had a root canal about a year ago for a rather infected molar. He had to put a temporary seal on it and told me to come back. I however have not returned like a fool. Since then my temporary filling has begun wearing down and some pain has returned. The pain normally shows itself if I mistakenly chew on that tooth roughly. It will then ache and throb for anywhere between 2-8 hours afterwards.

What I was hoping you could tell me is what is the cause of the pain. Is it another infection, could the abscess have returned? I plan to get too a dentist as soon as I can which unfortunately I am out of town. do you have any advice to alleviate my pain?
– Grant from South Africa

Grant,
I can’t tell for sure without an examination, but it sounds like your root canal tooth has become re-infected. You need a dentist. If you can’t actually visit the dentist, you can maybe get a prescription by telephone for some antibiotics and pain medication. But then you need to be sure to visit the dentist in person and get this taken care of, or it could get really complicated.

When a root canal treatment is done, it’s important for the root canal filling material to be sealed off from your saliva. So a dentist will put a temporary filling in the tooth. If you don’t follow through, the temporary filling will eventually come out, and your saliva will begin to contaminate the root canal filling, which softens the cement inside the tooth. That will cause the tooth to become re-infected. And besides that, you can also have additional decay starting deep inside the tooth.

Hopefully this hasn’t progressed too far and your tooth can still be saved. But if my guess is correct, you will need to have the root canal treatment re-done.

This blog brought to you by Cleveland dentist Dr. Brad Hylan.

Can Snap-On Smile be used for lower teeth?

Is the snap-on-smile device available for lower teeth?
– DJ from Oregon

DJ,
The Snap-On Smile can be used for lower teeth, but there are some limitations.

Since in most people the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth in front, any additions to the fronts of the lower front teeth will cause that you will be biting directly on the Snap-On Smile appliance. This would open your bite. If you only open the bite in the front of your mouth, this would be an undesirable situation if you were intending to wear it for any length of time. Besides possibly making your jaw sore, it could cause your back teeth to drift. So in most cases, if we were to make an appliance for your lower teeth, we would want to make it for the entire lower arch, not just the front teeth.

These restrictions might vary from case to case.

This blog brought to you by Cleveland dentist Dr. Brad Hylan.