Putting off an infection

I had a root canal and a crown put on a tooth several years ago. A couple of weeks ago it became infected. My dentist gave me an antibiotic. He said the tooth is cracked and there is little chance of another successful root canal. He recommends removing the tooth. It is not hurting anymore, so I think the infection is gone. I’d hate to remove the tooth unnecessarily. Can I just put this off seeing as it doesn’t hurt anymore?

Jenny I.- Oklahoma


No, I don’t recommend putting off the extraction. The infection is still there, it is just being held at bay by your antibiotics. As soon as you stop taking them the infection will flare back up. The only way to completely get rid of it is to treat it at the source.

It will be safer to extract the tooth now when the extraction while the infection is under control. There are ways to replace your tooth that will look perfectly natural. You might be interested in learning about dental implants.

This blog is brought to you by Vista Dorada Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Pain with white fillings

I had a white filling placed almost five months ago. A month ago I went back in to have it smoothed out because my floss kept getting caught on it. Since then I’ve been getting this horrible pain whenever I take a bite. I went back in to have it x-rayed. My dentist didn’t see anything and thinks it is just post-operative pain. The problem is I can’t eat anything. What do I do? The pain is getting worse.

Anthony S.- New Mexico


I would go see an endodontist. If this were just post-operative soreness, your pain would be getting better–not worse. When pain progresses instead of lessening, that is generally a sign there is an infection somewhere and a root canal treatment is in order. Take the x-rays your dentist already took. An endodontist might be able to see an infection that your dentist didn’t see.

You may also be interested in learning about CEREC Crowns.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.