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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3019
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 35 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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GA-AMM I have been advised that I need to have a root canal in one

Customer Question

I have been advised that I need to have a root canal in one of my teeth. The tooth has infection at the current time. When I had a root canal many years ago the procedure was to clear the infection then perform the root canal. My new dentist is telling me that is "old school" and now it is fine to perform the root canal while the tooth is infected? Does this sound like a good idea?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.
Welcome .I will do my best to answer your question.I am not a great typist,be patient and feel free to ask if anything is unclear.You are right to question his judgement.The correct thing to do is to drain the tooth if there is an infection and start antibiotic therapy.penicillin vk is the one of choice.After you have been on the antibiotic for at least five days and the tooth has been drained,it would then be safe to complete the root canal.These are not complicated theories.Closing up a tooth and sealing it while there still remains bacterial products at the tip of the tooth is just a recipe for failure.Have your dentist open the tooth and clean the canals ,place you on penicillin ,and return in a week for the finish of the root canal.If he doesn't see the reasoning,find a new dentist.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response. I had the root canal done about a year ago and I am now experiencing more infection to which his response is that it had nothing to do with the previous root canal that was performed on the first visit when he looked at my tooth which was infected at that time. He says it is a type of cyst and has now put me on antibiotics. His treatment plan includes - a root canal in another tooth that is being infected from the root and then surgery to remove the cyst (or infection). The cyst popped open on its own last night and I am just not sure about his solution. Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.
Do you have x-rays of the teeth involved? Are we talking about one tooth or are we talking about two teeth? Is the tooth that he is planning to do a root canal on ,A tooth that needs to be retreated or is this a new infected tooth?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I went to the dentist about a year ago with an infected tooth. He did a root canal that day on the tooth, I think # ***** He also told me an old root canal needed to be redone, so he did that on the next visit. Now, a year later I have a bad infection which seems to be in the same location as the last one. There is one tooth there #21 I think which he suggests needs a root canal because it is getting an infection in the root from what is currently going on and tells me the big infection (he also called it a type of cyst) will require surgery to remove the infection and I will need anesthesia because I have sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes. I like the dentist but am not sure he is being real honest. I think the infection has something to do with not clearing it up previously before doing the root canal. It almost seems like he is trying to do too much and get everyone involved.

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.
Surgery on the root tip of tooth# ***** needs to be done with caution. I think the surgery that you are referring to is an apicoectomy or the amputation of the root tip.there is a major nerve in this vicinity that needs to be watched for .If your dentist is not an oral surgeon or endodontist, I would seek their opinion before proceeding . Your diabetes and sleep apnea has really no bearing on the outcome. These procedures can be done under local anesthesia without any problem. I doubt that there is really a cyst on this tooth. It is most likely a persistent abscess that may be there from a variety of reasons.Is the dentist that you are seeing that will do this work an endodontist or root canal specialist? Is it possible for you to get an X-ray of this area that you can upload so that I can give you some more accurate information ?
Expert:  Miel-cssm replied 1 year ago.
We received your customer service inquiry, however, we are unable to respond to you because we do not have your email address. Please contact customer support at***@******.*** and provide us with your email address and a link to this question page so that we can help you. (http://www.justanswer.com/dental/93b23-advised-need-root-canal-one.html). Thank you, ***** ***** Customer Support Team.