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Dentistry/root canaled tooth - abcess


Hi, my dentist showed me I have an abcess in a root canaled 1st upper molar.  He said we can re--treat it but I don't want to because it has been bothering me for 8 years and I just want it out.  He says we can extract it but if we do we have to do a bone graft.  Is this absolutely necessary?  I don't want cadaver bone in my head if I can help it.  

Also, I have been having a horrible taste in my mouth especially on that side.  Could this be from infection?  It is really nasty.

Thanks so much!  

Hi Dee,
The bad taste in your mouth can be from infection around that tooth--it's essentially draining into your mouth and has a funky taste.

I would recommend you seeing an endodontist to attempt to save your tooth.  I understand your frustrations with having pain on the tooth for 8 years.  However, the success rates with root canal retreatment are roughly 85 to 90%.  I'm not sure who performed your initial root canal, however the success rate regarding root canals is about 20-25% higher when a endodontist performs it versus and endodontist.  I would recommend you consider saving your natural tooth, because the alternatives (bone grafting, implants, implant crown) can get very expensive and time consuming.  Plus, nothing is better than your natural tooth versus a metal implant.

Anyhow, if you do decide to have the tooth extracted, you would need bone grafting.  There are other forms of graft material:  bovine (cow bone--not much better) and inorganic, synthetic bone, which I would recommend.

If you interested at learning more about procedures in saving your tooth or finding an endodontist, you can consult the website:

Best of Luck,
Ketan Amin, DMD
Austin Center for Endodontics (Root Canal Specialists)
Austin Center for Endodontics


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Ketan Amin, DMD


Graduating from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, I received a broad understanding of both medicine and dentistry. I continued my training at New York University, as a dental specialist in endodontics, which concerns root canal therapy, related surgeries, as well as diagnosing and managing various forms of pain occurring in the head and neck


Dentistry; Specialist in Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy).

American Association of Endodontics American Dental Association American Academy of OroFacial Pain

Harvard School of Dental Medicine-Doctorate in Dental Medicine (DMD) New York University College of Dentistry-Certificate, Endodontics

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