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Root Canals

Possible Bone Problems

03/25/2010

Question:

I had a root canal done about 3.5 yrs ago, my Dentist cleaned out the tooth and put in a temporary filling I finished the course of antibiotics and because of work etc forgot about things. A year later I got an infection in the root which I had drained, cleaned and temporarily refilled again with another course of antibiotics. Due to financial considerations I left the filling in until after 3-4 months it got infected again, My dentist recleaned things, put me on a course of antibiotics and told me come back in a week to finish things, within 2 days I was in agony from an abcess, and I had to remove the temp filling myself to relieve the pressure, Due to a combination of appointment problems and work problems I have not been back to get it finished yet, so the root canal has been open for 27mths now. Apart from the obvious bad breath problems, I am wondering what damage has been done ? and should I just get the tooth pulled ?

Answer:

It is unlikely that there is more damage done from not completing the root canal in a timely manner. However, your tooth may have more decay, broken pieces, etc. You should speak with your dentist regarding whether to save your tooth. More than likely, it will be save-able but you will have to weigh all options including your financial and time constraints. You must also weigh the costs and time involved in replacing a missing tooth if you elect to have that tooth removed.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University