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Failed Root Canal
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Failed Root Canal

I had a root canal done on my Upper Right 1st Molar (#14 I think) about 5 years ago. Sometime in June or July 2007 the root canal developed some infection that caused me a lot of pain. I saw my dentist who prescribed penicillin. When this did not work I saw my primary physician who prescribed a different antibiotic and and stronger pain killers that stopped the pain and infection (or so I thought). This past March (2008) the tooth flared-up again. I saw a different dentist (my dentist was on vacation) who diagnosed a failed root canal (and suggested an apico). 2 days later, following his referral I saw an Oral Surgeon who examined me and prescribed antibiotics. He suggested extraction instead of an "apico" because as he explained, it may not work and I would be back to square one. Two weeks after this I saw my primary dentist (the one who did the RCT) . Although x-rays showed some infection in the tissue, since I had no pain he did nothing and asked me to come back if i felt any pain.

Since then I have had no pain but about three weeks ago I felt a lesion on the gum near the offending root canal. I pricked it with a needle and it oozed some bloody stuff. After draining and cleaning it out and rinsing with Listerine I did not think much of it again until a few days later (about a week) when I noticed that the lesion had formed once again. I repeated the pricking and cleaning. I also examined the area with my finger and noticed that there is some hard growth emerging underneath the gum, towards the cheekbone area. I still don't have pain but I feel some tenderness on the right side of my face around the area where the upper-lip ends and the cheekbone begins. That has gotten me very worried especially after reading others' case histories on the web and in this forum. I have an appointment coming up to see my dentist on 12/16/2008. What are some of the questions I should be asking him? Shouldn't he have anticipated these developments?  Should I be looking for a new dentist?
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If your RCT has failed, chances are the root of your tooth is toast.  If I were you, i'd get the tooth taken out.  Pain or not, it will continue to abcess (abscess) and cause you problems.  The lesion on your gum is probably just infection finding a way out from that same tooth.  Many people get abcesses on the gum and its actually from a tooth.  The only sign of abcess (abscess) being the lesion......many people have no pain.  The best way to get rid of the infection is to remove the source....your tooth.

If you want to try to save the tooth, you could try the apico.  However, since you have already had issues of infection with this area, there is a greater chance it won't work anyway andyou'll end up pulling the tooth.  I agree w/the oral surgeon.  Take the tooth out.  You can always get an implant in that area down the road if the space shows when you smile.  
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