Is a root canal necessary if you have a tooth abscess?

A few years ago, I had a really bad cavity in my back molar. The dentist said it came really close to damaging the nerve.

Fast forward to about a month ago when I had a really bad toothache in the back of my mouth, and I went to the dentist. He couldn't find what was causing my tooth pain, and told me it may have been an abscess that healed itself or went away. (Or it may have just been my teeth moving, but I'm paranoid.)

Anyway, I have a scheduled tooth cleaning/check-up on the 30th of June, and that tooth is feeling kind of funny again.

So my question is:

Is a root canal needed for a tooth abscess, or can they just drain it or something, and give me an anti-biotic?

Also, is it possible for an abscess to come back?

I just want to be prepared for what may happen when I go there in a few days!

Thanks.

13 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    If there is an infection in the tooth that needs dental work antibiotics will clear it up for awhile but unless dental work is done the infection will only come back maybe even worse. The reason being you cleared the infection but not the source of the infection which is bacteria caused by a decaying tooth.

    After having 9 root canals I would suggest telling your dentist you want a panorex xray, this way you know exactly what you are dealing with, is it just one tooth or is it several. Then talk to your dentist about what options you have as far as dental work and the cost of treatment for all the options. By doing so you are not going into it blind like I did.

    Root canals for molars are expensive (I paid about $1100.00 a tooth) and to make matters worse you need to have crowns put on them otherswise the tooth goes soft and breaks. Crowns are just as expensive if not more.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You don't really NEED a root canal if you have an abscess. But you can't keep the tooth. It's very possible for the abscess to come back if something's not done about the tooth.

    Take antibiotics every day leading up to your appointment, and the abscess should at least be reduced a little by then. Someone you know will probably have some leftover penicillin or amoxicillin, provided you aren't allergic to that sort.

    Source(s): I had an abscess that gave me a fever of 102 degrees, chills at night, and swollen glands. They had to pull the tooth.
  • 1 decade ago

    You don't need a root canal for an absessed tooth, you can always extract it. The antibiotics is not a CURE. Its medicine to help clear up the bacteria that is there. The bacteria is under the tooth and in the tooth because the cavity is so deep, but if nothing is done to the tooth, the infection will come back. When someone has an abessed tooth that is too bad, th anesthetic has no effect on it. There fore the dentist can't work on your tooth because you will feel it all. So if you do have a tooth that is absessed and you get antibiotics, you do have to return and get it taken care of, trust me you do not want to wait till it comes back, because if the tooth was saveable by doing a root canal, when u come back months later you may have no choice but to extract it.

    When you had that abssess did the doctor just do a filling? If so the filling may have failed and there was still bacteria under the tooth. Sometimes, you cannot see the bacteria under the filling in the xray, sometimes the doctor sees it when he goes in there.( I had some sensitivity in an old amalgum (silver) filling I had the dentist redo it and he found bacteria under it.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): I work at a dental clinic and see this ALL the time
  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Toothache Remedies http:/teres.info/ToothPainRelief
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  • 3 years ago

    Is A Root Canal Necessary

  • 1 decade ago

    According to my dentist when this has happened to me is either a root canal or extraction. Extraction is MUCH cheaper but of course you lose the tooth. Perhaps you won't mind this since it's in the back.

    Good luck and feel better!

  • Velia
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I think if you still have concerns then you should arrange an appointment with your dentist. I would hope that by the time you have finished the antibiotics the infection would be completely gone, sometimes abscess leave a little scar tissue. Arrange a non urgent appointment with your dentist to have it reviewed.

  • 1 decade ago

    It might be treated with an antibiotic. If that does not work either root canal or extraction are other possibilities.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    nORMALLY THEY WILL TRY TO PULL IT BECAUSE IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE ABSCESS TO COME BACK. A ROOT CANAL WILL SAVE THE TOOTH BUT ITS VERY PRICEY YOU HAVE TO PURCHASE A CROWN WICH RUN ABOUT 600.00 DOLLARS. GOOD LUCK I JUST HAD A BACK MOLAR PULLED DUE TO THE SAME THING

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    both options are possible. usually root canal is the preferred option when pain is unbearable. good luck

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