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Dentistry/retreatment of rc


I recently had a retreatment done of a root canal that gone bad years ago. Well, the endodontist said that there was a leakage in my tooth causing it to contaminate and have an infection. He said that redoing the root canal should fix the issue. He has now gone on vacation and won't be back for weeks but I was just curious, he didn't give me any antibiotics. The first time I had the root canal done by my general dentist, I had antibiotics but this time he didn't get me any. Are antibiotics always prescribed and is it better to get rid of an infection or would the infection go away on its own? Thank you.

Laurie - I am a "belt and suspender" doctor and especially a tooth with an old root canal and a leakage of that tooth, with secondary contamination and infection, an antibiotic is not only important, but necessary.  This necessity is accentuated with the delay in time until any treatment is performed.  So in this situation it is correct and necessary to assist in preventing a problem now and decreasing chances of additional problems associated with performing a retreatment later on.  

So to practice correctly and help prevent additional problems, although it would not prevent a necessity for retreatment to seal the tooth, antibiotics are a correct treatment. You should be on an antibiotic now.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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