Tooth extraction or antibiotics: what are my options at 7 months pregnant? (Photo)

I just had this X-ray done that shows two areas under a tooth with crown as having infection. The tooth near the one with abscess is very sensitive to cold/hot/sweet/water, sometimes pressure. That tooth since is also dead (has a root canal), may be cracked and that could explain the pain?? The other photo that doesn't show the crown is from 3 years ago when they were performing the root canal. At 7 months pregnant, what are my current options for treatment? I am allergic to penicillin.

Doctor Answers 4

Extraction or root canal

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Your choice is not between extraction and antibiotics. There is no way that your tooth will survive only with antibiotics without giving your problems around the time of your delivery date. 

There does appear to be some apical blunting (where the root length is getting shorter) which is sometimes associated with a biofilm at the end of the canal. This can mean that the re-root treatment may have a slightly lower success rate. 

I would speak to an end specialist. If they feel they can provide a solid outcome for the tooth - if they go in to it and is is largely undamaged inside - then you may feel confident to have the root canal. Otherwise you should have it extracted. 

Good luck however you decide to proceed. 

Thomas Dey, BDS, MSc 

Stevenage Dentist

Options for Treating Failed Root Canals

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While the rate of success is lower for root canal retreats, I believe in saving teeth if at all possible. The root canal on the adjacent tooth (#31) looks much better than the tooth with the infection (#30), therefore, the quality of the root canal matters. If there is sensitivity to sweets, there is the possibility of remnants of pulpal tissue. Seek an endodontist with a microscope because the added illumination and magnification allows him or her see missed canals, irregular anatomy and any remaining tissue. Also, replace the crown as there is recurrent decay present. As far as pregnancy, this option works great! Also, I always like to consult with the obstetrician prior to initiating treatment just to be sure. Good luck!

Prince Arrington III, DDS
Boca Raton Dentist


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Due to statistical success rate of molar retreats, money is better spent on extracting.  You can decide what to do about the missing tooth after the baby arrives.

Abscessed tooth

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The tooth that has the abscess looks like the root canal isn't ideal. I suggest having the root canal redone. The back tooth that is giving you discomfort may be referred pain from the other tooth. I suggest visiting an endodontist and letting them do a scan of both of these teeth to determine the cause of your discomfort. 

Vicki Borowski, DDS
Dallas Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.