May 21

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Quality questions to ask regarding endodontic treatment – Antibiotic question

It is not uncommon for a patient to ask if they can just take antibiotics to eliminate a root canal infection.  That is a good common sense question and there is a simple answer.

Antibiotics are carried in the blood by the circulatory system and delivered to the site of an infection.  Antibiotics will help kill bacteria outside the root but they cannot get inside the root canal because the bacteria have killed and destroyed the circulatory system of the pulp inside the root.  Consequently the bacteria have a safe place to grow inside the root where they cannot be attacked by your immune system (white blood cells) or antibiotics.

That’s where we come in.  We have to get inside the root, clean out the bacteria and then fill in the empty space so the bacteria cannot multiply and start the infection all over again.  That is what a root canal procedure is.  We get access to the contaminated canal system in the root, we use files to clean the tube or canal inside the root, we disinfect the canal by rinsing with an antibacterial fluid and then we fill in the clean, empty tube in the root with a root canal filling.  When we eliminate the flow of bacteria out of the tip of the root, your immune system cleans up the tissues outside the root tip and then bone will grow back and reattach to the root.

The healing process usually is complete within 8 months but may take as long as 2 years with large infections.  There is no pain or swelling during the healing process.

If you are considering a root canal, call St Petersburg Endodontics at 727.521.2285 – St Petersburg Root Canal Endodontist / Dentist

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