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My husband had a total knee replacement 2 years ago. He went

to the dentist today and...
My husband had a total knee replacement 2 years ago. He went to the dentist today and was told he has an abscessed tooth and they scheduled a root canal for next Monday (7 days away.) He was put on "clindamycin" 150 mg (he is to take 2 capsules every 6 hours for the next week) My question is does the abscess have to be cleared up before the root canal? We are just "scared" because of the chance his Knee replacement might be compromised by the abscess. Thank you.
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Answered in 3 hours by:
5/3/2011
Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6,022
Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine
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Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

No-- the abscess does not need to be cleared up prior to root canal therapy, although there is a lower probability of an acute flare-up after the root canal if the acuteness of the abscess is suppressed by antibiotic beforehand. In fact, the infection will not be completely eradicated until after the root canal is performed, because antibiotics cannot totally eliminate dental infection on their own.

Although there is a remote chance of spread of bacteria through the bloodstream, risk of hematogenous spread of infection to a prosthetic joint is thought to be greatly diminished after two years has passed since the surgery, and there is little risk from the root canal procedure in this regard. In fact, by eliminating the infection, the root canal therapy actually diminishes risk of infection, so your husband's dentist is doing the right thing, both for his tooth, and for his knee.

Hope this helps...
Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6,022
Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine
Verified
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Satisfied Customers: 6,022
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Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine

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