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Dentistry/Antibiotics to avoid Root Canal?


I saw a dentist today and had an old root canal trimmed off and dentist put on a temporary tooth on it and will be getting a crown in 2 weeks. The dentist prescribed me antibiotics and I asked why since I always had crowns done without them. She said that it was in part for the tooth that was treated today, but also because she noticed another inflamed/lightly infected tooth that might need a root canal and she wants to see if the inflammation goes down after taking the antibiotics.

I never felt pain in this tooth. Anyhow, since I will be leaving for Italy for a month in the next 3 weeks, I asked if I could avoid taking the antibiotics for now since I will be getting that root canal if really needed when I come back. Her answer was:

"oK, so take the antibiotic for 5 days for now, and then we'll take a look in 2 weeks when you come for your crown, and then if you need a root canal, take them again 5 days prior to the procedure."

I must confess I am not at all keen in taking antibiotics for teeth problems. I take antibiotics only for severe things as they cause me to get recurrent yeast infections that last for months. I feel tempted to just avoid taking them, at least for now until I come back from my trip. If I decide not to take them, what's the most that can happen? I have never heard of a tooth that can be cured with an antibiotic and no root canal is needed.Also, never took them before after a temporary tooth is put on. I feel it's mostly for liability purposes just in case, and I still can understand how they would prevent me a root canal. I would hate to take them and then still need the root canal.  What are your thoughts?
Thanks for your insight.

Dear Mary,
I understand your concerns.
Regretfully the questions you ask me are not in my area of expertise.
My specialty is Dentistry fro Children.
I suggest you continue to follow this up , but try to find someone with more experience in the area of general dentistry or endodontics.
All the best,
Doctor Moss


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Stephen J. Moss


I am a professor emeritus at New York University, with a background that includes extensive research, scientific writing and biology. I also am an international consultant in health education, particularly in developing education on new science for health professionals and consumers. I am a past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, former head of the NYU Division of Oral Biology and I represent the World Dental Federation at the United Nations. I travel around the world to provide health education to professionals and consumers.


Having retired from New York Universit, where I directed the pediatric dentistry training program, a walk-in dental clinic and research on oral biology, I formalized my professional and consumer health education initiative in the form of Health Education Enterprises. This entity consults and provides information on new science pertaining to oral and general health, particularly leading edge concepts that can be employed in the health professions to improve the public's health. As such, I am an expert in communicating new science and its usefulness to professional and lay audiences alike. I also had a pediatric dentistry practice in New York City for nearly 30 years.

I am affiliated with the American Dental Association, the World Dental Federation, the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry among other formal organizations. My experience has included a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and work at the Forsythe Dental Research Center

lpha Omegan USA, Nowa Stomatologia Poland, Journal of Public Health Dentistry, The Journal of the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry USA, News Bulletin Japan, Journal of Marmara University Dental Faculty Turkey, Italian Journal of Paediatric Dentistry Italy, Asian Dentist Singapore, The Journal of the Israel Dental Association Israel, ROBRAC Brazil, Italian Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Italy, FDI World, STOMA Portugal, Pediatric Dentistry The Philippines, Modern Stomatology Bulgaria, Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry India

I obtained a doctor of dental science (DDS) degree, a master of science degree and am a board certified pediatric dentist.

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