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Dentistry/infection after root canal?


I have had root canals on 2 of my front teeth (one because of trauma, the root is half as long as it should be).   Also, 2 resin inlays broke, (1 needed a post and a root canal) and I crowned both.  The dentist was concerned the other needed a a root canal, too, and asked if it hurt with the temporary crown.  It didn't, but whenever she started working on it, my other two root canals (in the front) started to ache, which was weird.  My front teeth also ached when I drank sugary substances, so I went back in to get crowns on them. There is a small infection on the one with the short root.  In Korea, they don't give antibiotics for these infections, so the dentist is suggesting a re-endo before I put the crown on.  Are antibiotics enough?  Do I have to wait a week to take them or can I just do the pills AND crown this week?  Or is a re-endo enough?
I am frustrated that I already got a root canal on this tooth but the infection came back. So I hesitate when they say a re-endo will take care of the problem.

Hi Kira,

I can understand your frustration.

Unfortunately, we can not see all bacteria. So even if the root canal system 'looks' clean and the root canal is good, there can be some remaining bacteria that proliferate over time and re-infect the area. At this point, taking antibiotics alone will not cure the problem.

I would recommend you see a root canal specialist, as they have better training in this area. Sometimes, additional procedures such as an apico-ectomy  may be required. This is where the infected part of the root is physically removed from the tooth.

I wish you the best of luck in the future!


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Benjamin Schwartz, DDS FAGD


I can answer a range of questions in dentistry, ranging from cosmetic dentistry, fillings, root canals, and comprehensive treatment. Specifically, my fields of interest are in CEREC technology, Invisalign (Invisable braces), and Endodontics (root canals).


Full time practicing dentist in New York City, treating all phases of adult dental needs. Specific focus on Invisalign cases, Endodontic (root canal) treatment, and CEREC single visit restorations.

Schwartz Benjamin, Boczko Fae, McKeon S. Oral Care For The Elderly. Perspectives in Gerontology December 2006

New York University College of Dentistry - D.D.S.
Woodhull Medical Center, 1 year post-graduate residency program - GPR

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