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Infected tooth, possible fracture?

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: ShinyMutation  (7 years ago)
About 15 years ago I had a root canal done, or so I thought. A couple of years ago, that tooth became infected and was told that I never had a root canal performed on tooth (something wasn't properly done on it apparently and I'm still confused about it). Anyway, last year I saw an endodontist and he did whatever it is they do to correct it. Now, about a year later, I began having yet another abcess form on the gum right above the tooth. My general dentist said the root is probably fractured and/or infected and to see the endodontist again to have it pulled or go other options.

What can I expect? I'm terrified of dentists and have a panic attack in the parking lot before I have something as simple as a cleaning done. Being this will be the third time I've had to have something done to this tooth, I'm even more terrified and untrusting of any dentist because it seems they all keep screwing it up.
User Level:
Dentist
About 15 years ago I had a root canal done, or so I thought. A couple of years ago, that tooth became infected and was told that I never had a root canal performed on tooth (something wasn't properly done on it apparently and I'm still confused about it). Anyway, last year I saw an endodontist and he did whatever it is they do to correct it. Now, about a year later, I began having yet another abcess form on the gum right above the tooth. My general dentist said the root is probably fractured and/or infected and to see the endodontist again to have it pulled or go other options.

What can I expect? I'm terrified of dentists and have a panic attack in the parking lot before I have something as simple as a cleaning done. Being this will be the third time I've had to have something done to this tooth, I'm even more terrified and untrusting of any dentist because it seems they all keep screwing it up.


It is always sad when a patient tries hard to care for his tooth, and still ends up losing one. It is doubly sad when such a patient is as frightened as you apparently are.

Success rates on root canals are about 94% when done the first time. When retreated, the success rate drops to around the 80% level. The ones we don't think will work often do; textbook perfect root canals I have done have failed for no apparent reason. How the human body works is a mystery sometime.

If the root canal specialist doesn't know what caused the failure, I would hesitate investing any more time and money. The root canals to retreat are the ones where the cause of failure is obvious, like a missed canal or a short-filled root. Have it extracted and a socket bone graft done, then have an implant placed when it heals. It sounds scary, but it is really not that difficult.
Posted 7 years ago
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