To root canal or not to root canal

Joined
Mar 29, 2024
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Periodontist has identified upper left #13 as having "radiolucency." Told it has an infection at the root; is root canal the only solution for this? Is there no way to treat the infection with an antibiotic injection of sorts? Root canal doesn't heal the infection, it reduces it? Then the immune system can heal it. May have to do another root canal on the same tooth in 3-6 years?

Thanks for any input.

Brian
 

Dr M

Verified Dentist
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May 31, 2019
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Antibiotics is never a solution to any infection. You have to eliminate the cause, and the best way to do this with an infected tooth, is to do a root canal, or to extract the tooth in question.
 

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Joined
Dec 26, 2023
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I second Dr M's opinion based on my own experience and the recommendation of an oral surgeon in my family.

Check out this paper by the American Association of Endodontists:

The radiolucency is a periapical lesion, a secondary infection when the one inside the root is pushing through the apical foramen. This means, the inside of your tooth is infected, too, to a point where the pulp cannot be saved.

Root canal is the minimum, extraction the option.

What I would consider:

1. Did the clinician find the entryway of the bacteria into the root causing the inflammation (crack etc.) and close it? In my case, the root canal did nothing on two teeth...the inflammation did not go away, as the bacterial supply was not interrupted. One tooth was extracted, the other one will have to be extracted. No cavity, no crack discovered despite CBCT scan and X-rays.

2. How long will a root canal generally last? It is not forever. Ask your colleagues and friends for their experience. You will be surprised what you will hear...
 
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