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Dentistry/infected tooth for years


About 6-7 years ago, I had a dentist in Italy do a root canal and apparently she did a bad job. About 3 years ago, a dentist told me  the tooth is infected and needs to be extracted and a bridge needs built. Because I never had any pain, swelling or other symptoms, I thought he was exaggerating or trying to make money. A month ago, I went to another dentist and after doing x-rays he said the same thing. This means I have had an infected tooth for 6-7 years! I asked him about the lack of pain/swelling, and he said that likely it's draining somehow and for that reason I don't have pain or swelling. He gave me an estimate and it's not affordable for me, even with the insurance it amounts to almost $4,000 for the extraction, crown, bridge! My question is: since it's draining, where is it going, and since I have no pain could it be causing damage that's going unnoticed? I am overall healthy, just suffer from sinus problems with nasal crusting and frequent phlegm. I also have had heart arrhythmia (pvc's) for over 2 years now, but I did an EKG and nothing was found. Wondering if these symptoms can be connected to the infected tooth? and if it drains, where does it go? can it cause damage? thanks

Dear Janet,

If your tooth has an intraoral fistula, then the infection has been draining into your mouth.  Athough I do not believe your dental infection is causing your pvcs, You would be wise to take care of this dental problem. If you have an infected tooth it will allow bacteria from the infection to possibly enter your blood stream and cause problems. If removing the infected tooth is your best option than you should do so. If you can not afford to replace it immediately,You could ask your dentist if he can make you an inexpensive removable flipper for now.  


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Lawrence Spindel DDS,


Cosmetic Dentistry, Endodontics, General Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry, Comprehensive Dental Care


Former Clinical Instructor of Comprehensive Dentistry, and Prosthodontic Department New York University School of Dentistry. Also former instructor of Preventive Dentistry Columbia University School of Dentistry.

Ask Dr Spindel Dental Blog also numerous articles on (over 100 pages of original content)

1980 DDS New York University College of Dentistry 1981 GPR Manhattan VA Hospital

Awards and Honors
OKU 1980 Honor Society 1980 Long Island Academy of Odontology award for highest combined Academic and Clinical Achievement.
In 1997 he was elected to Fellowship into the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics

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