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Have dental fistula - can I get away with anitbiotics only?

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: toothless  (8 years ago)
I have a fistula above tooth 3. I have had it for about half a year, but since it doesn't hurt I haven't given it much thought. Until yesterday, when I mentioned it in passing to my doctor, who told me it "looks like a tumor, you really ought to see a dentist".

My dentist took x-rays and told me that I have a fistula. Sounded worse than "tumor" at first, but she reassured me it is not as bad as it sounds. However, she also told me I need to redo the root canal job I had done to the offending tooth years ago. Oh, and she refused to do it herself, offering instead to refer me to a specialist, which worries me.

After doing some googling, it looks like I have four options:
-1: Do nothing. (It doesn't hurt - if it ain't broken don't fix it.)
-2: Try penicilin or other antibiotics. (Not clear to me if this could offer a permanent solution, or if the fistula would soon reappear.)
-3: Redo the root canal and crown. (Time consuming, painful, expensive.)
-4: Pull the tooth. (Quick, cheap, nobody sees the tooth anyway and I have 27 others to chew with.)

Question: Is there any way to avoid options 3 and 4? Could antibiotics possibly do the job once and for all? If not, how much time could it buy me?

Thanks,
T

User Level:
Dentist
I have a fistula above tooth 3. I have had it for about half a year, but since it doesn't hurt I haven't given it much thought. Until yesterday, when I mentioned it in passing to my doctor, who told me it "looks like a tumor, you really ought to see a dentist".

My dentist took x-rays and told me that I have a fistula. Sounded worse than "tumor" at first, but she reassured me it is not as bad as it sounds. However, she also told me I need to redo the root canal job I had done to the offending tooth years ago. Oh, and she refused to do it herself, offering instead to refer me to a specialist, which worries me.

After doing some googling, it looks like I have four options:
-1: Do nothing. (It doesn't hurt - if it ain't broken don't fix it.)
-2: Try penicilin or other antibiotics. (Not clear to me if this could offer a permanent solution, or if the fistula would soon reappear.)
-3: Redo the root canal and crown. (Time consuming, painful, expensive.)
-4: Pull the tooth. (Quick, cheap, nobody sees the tooth anyway and I have 27 others to chew with.)

Question: Is there any way to avoid options 3 and 4? Could antibiotics possibly do the job once and for all? If not, how much time could it buy me?

Thanks,
T



Let's see. You have a festering infection in your bone, which is draining pus. You don't think there is anything "broken" here? You really think doing nothing is a legitimate option, just because you have no symptoms? (Because pus is draining, it does not build up and cause pain.)

Antibiotics by themselves do not solve dental problems. You definitely need a root canal. Afterwards, you could find someone to do a large silver filling instead of a crown to save money. Ex-military dentists more often do this.

If your finger was oozing pus, would you simply have it chopped off? No? Then why would you do that to another precious part of your body, a tooth? If you could only see how much bone is lost in an adult tooth extraction, you would not even consider it.
Posted 8 years ago
User Level:
Dentist
I have a fistula above tooth 3. I have had it for about half a year, but since it doesn't hurt I haven't given it much thought. Until yesterday, when I mentioned it in passing to my doctor, who told me it "looks like a tumor, you really ought to see a dentist".

My dentist took x-rays and told me that I have a fistula. Sounded worse than "tumor" at first, but she reassured me it is not as bad as it sounds. However, she also told me I need to redo the root canal job I had done to the offending tooth years ago. Oh, and she refused to do it herself, offering instead to refer me to a specialist, which worries me.

After doing some googling, it looks like I have four options:
-1: Do nothing. (It doesn't hurt - if it ain't broken don't fix it.)
-2: Try penicilin or other antibiotics. (Not clear to me if this could offer a permanent solution, or if the fistula would soon reappear.)
-3: Redo the root canal and crown. (Time consuming, painful, expensive.)
-4: Pull the tooth. (Quick, cheap, nobody sees the tooth anyway and I have 27 others to chew with.)

Question: Is there any way to avoid options 3 and 4? Could antibiotics possibly do the job once and for all? If not, how much time could it buy me?

Thanks,
T



The tooth is not hurting now, but the pus is flowing in your blood stream. A dental Xray will show a certain amount of bone loss. Pus is draining but a fistula ( or sinus tract) can close at any time, and you will experiment an accute pain. The first molar is very important for chewing, treat it, don't lose it !
Posted 8 years ago
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