Infection won't go away

Oct 26, 2022

I am not sure if this is in the correct area of the forum. Apologies if it is not.

I had two root canals done many years ago. One of the crowns of the root canal fell off and due to costs (and personal reasons) - I did not immediately rush to the dentist for months. I felt no pain from it. So unfortunately, an infection formed in the site. By the time I got to the dentist, the tooth had deteriorated to the point that it could not hold another crown. So they had to extract the tooth. To make matters worse, the infection had spread to the other root canal in front of the tooth. So I was referred to an endodontist to have it re-treated.

7 months after the retreatment, I was called to do a follow-up to see how the area has healed. To my surprise, neither the extraction site nor the retreated root canal removed the infection. I've now been referred to an Oral Surgeon and they are going to remove the remaining root canal and do a biopsy (I'm really scared about this).

My question to the dental experts on here is - have there been cases where an infection did not go away even after extraction and a retreatment of a root canal? If so - why doesn't it go away? Is this a sign of something worse? The dentist, nor the endodontist, nor the oral surgeon know what it going on. The oral surgeon says its a low chance of cancer, but I'm still terrified. I am attaching my dental x-ray to see if maybe that will assist in reviewing it?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


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Dr M

Verified Dentist
May 31, 2019
Good day

There could be a host of factors leading to this situation. The root canal treated tooth could have a crack in, leading to persistent infection. There could be missed canals the tooth, which also might lead to infection. All of this would have been investigated by your endodontist, I am sure.
A lot of times, chronic infection, can lead to the formation of granulation tissue. This does not clear up by itself, even if a source of infection was cleared. The granulation tissue itself has to be debrided and removed. This can be done by the oral surgeon. Usually any tissue removed by the oral surgeon is sent for a biopsy, but I agree that it sounds like a low risk of cancer. Most likely the lesions just needs to debrided in order for healing to take place.


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