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I am due to have root canal therapy on August 15th. Following an appointment with my dentist (a couple of weeks ago) I completed a 5 day course of antibiotics (for an abscess) one week ago. I am concerned that the appointment for root canal therapy is more than a month after completion of the course of antibiotics (my dentist is on holiday and there is no appointment available sooner). I do not want to loose the tooth. Is there reason for concern with the long delay? Should I try to go somewhere else for earlier treatment if at all possible? Does the delay risk unsuccessful root canal therapy? The first sign of the problem was from a temporary pain in the tooth about a month and a half ago - but an xray taken at that time did not reveal an infection and my dentist suspected a "strained ligament." The abscess appeared a few weeks later. Thank you so much!

Hi Andy and thanks for your question.

What has been advised seems within normal limits for root canal treatment.  Remember that the antibiotics have effect in clearing up the current infection and their action lasts much longer than the duration for which you take them.  Even if there is some residual infection present in the tooth when root canal is started, this won't have any marked no the proposed treatment plan and the root canal can go ahead as planned. It might just mean that the root canal may need an additional appointment to complete, during which time the tooth is medicated from within to completely remove any and all signs of infection - but this your dentists will be able to give you a better idea of once the treatment has started and the degree of infection can be ascertained once the tooth has been "opened up" properly. So, I wouldn't worry about the month which you have to wait too much.  Obviously, if the infection and pain symptoms return during this waiting period, then contact the surgery and let them make alternative arrangements or at least get the situation evaluated until your official appointment.

I hope this helps and wish you all the very best further and a speedy and uneventful root canal treatment ahead.  Take care.

Kind regards
Dr Craig Peck


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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)


I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.


I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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