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I have an abscess but no infection signs showed up on x-rays

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: mabelle  (5 years ago)
Hey there!

I came down with a terrible tooth pain. It started from my front teeth then it had spread to the left
side of my mouth particularly in my top teeth. The pain was unbearable, my partner had to rush me to the emergency room. They gave me antibiotics and pain killers.

Two days after I have started the antibiotics, I've got an abscess above my upper first molar on the left side. I also had a slight fever and my face and neck were swollen. The doctor told me that the antibiotics will take care of this, I just have to take it religiously until I finish the prescribed course.

After more than a week, I no longer feel any pain in my tooth but the abscess is still there. I also noticed that my tooth is slightly loose. I went to the dentist who took some x-rays but he could not see any signs of infection. However, he still wanted me to have a root canal done. He said the abscess indicates that I still have an infection.

Should I have the root canal done or not? Can you possibly have an infection that doesn't show up in x-ray? The tooth is no longer painful, the abscess is not bothering me anymore. What are your thoughts on this? Please help me to decide! Thanks a lot!
User Level:
Student
Posted by: ghnane  (5 years ago)
Dear Mabelle, since you had an infection that you took under control by taking antibiotics it is very likely that your pulp might have died in the process. With good root canal treatment you may still keep your first molar for a good number of years. It is very hard to detect inflammation on a x-ray since x-ray is specific for hard tissues. No pain in your tooth may also indicate that the pulp is dead thus you won't feel any pain. Did the dentist detect caries on that tooth?
User Level:
Dentist
Dear Mabelle, since you had an infection that you took under control by taking antibiotics it is very likely that your pulp might have died in the process. With good root canal treatment you may still keep your first molar for a good number of years. It is very hard to detect inflammation on a x-ray since x-ray is specific for hard tissues. No pain in your tooth may also indicate that the pulp is dead thus you won't feel any pain. Did the dentist detect caries on that tooth?

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Posted 3 years ago
User Level:
Dentist
Hey there!

I came down with a terrible tooth pain. It started from my front teeth then it had spread to the left
side of my mouth particularly in my top teeth. The pain was unbearable, my partner had to rush me to the emergency room. They gave me antibiotics and pain killers.

Two days after I have started the antibiotics, I've got an abscess above my upper first molar on the left side. I also had a slight fever and my face and neck were swollen. The doctor told me that the antibiotics will take care of this, I just have to take it religiously until I finish the prescribed course.

After more than a week, I no longer feel any pain in my tooth but the abscess is still there. I also noticed that my tooth is slightly loose. I went to the dentist who took some x-rays but he could not see any signs of infection. However, he still wanted me to have a root canal done. He said the abscess indicates that I still have an infection.

Should I have the root canal done or not? Can you possibly have an infection that doesn't show up in x-ray? The tooth is no longer painful, the abscess is not bothering me anymore. What are your thoughts on this? Please help me to decide! Thanks a lot!


The draining abscess proves the infection is from the molar. You have only two choices: Have a root canal or have the tooth out. I would save the tooth by a root canal if I were you. Antibiotics alone do not cure dental problems.
Posted 3 years ago
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