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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT

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I had a root canal in #23. I have been in pain for about 10 days. The tooth was treated 2 days ago. The treatment was very thorough. It included cleaning out 3 canals and lancing an abcess. As soon as the anesthetic wore off, the pain returned. The abcess is still present (a little smaller) and the pain is about a notch less.Motrin works best for about 2-4 hours. Vicoden and Percocet do nothing.

My question is why did the dentist not prescribe any antibiotic to treat the infection? Also do I need to return again to get this abcess re-lanced and drained again? How much longer till I will be out of pain? I am seeing an endodontist - should I be referred to a Dental Surgeon? ...Arnold in CA

Arnold, antibiotics don't always work for root canals because it's hard to get them to the tiny area of infection. It sounds like you should be on antibiotics, nevertheless. At this point you probably need a strong one like Cipro or Duricef (if you are not allergic to penicillin derivatives).

If the pain does not subside in 3 days you may also need Flagyl 250 mg. as well - to kill anaerobic bacteria. A steroid, like Decadron (1.5mg every 8 hours) should decrease the inflammation. Talk to the professional taking care of you.

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