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Root Canals

Antibiotics after root canal?

03/07/2006

Question:

Should patients be given a prescription for antibiotics after undergoing a root canal? My husband only received a prescription for pain medicine but nothing else.

Answer:

Antibiotics are not given in all cases when root canal treatment is done. They are reserved for those cases where there is an active infection. Teeth that require root canals because the pulp ("nerve") is inflamed do not benefit from antibiotic drugs. The overuse of antibiotics has led to bacteria that are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics and therefore leading to less effectiveness of the antibiotic. In your husband's case, the dentist may have decided that an antibiotic was not necessary.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University