Antibiotics play a key role in most infections, but when it’s about teeth, they’re not the entire solution.
With the medical knowledge and technology we have available these days, finding out you have an infection of some kind almost always draws an automatic response: “Infection? No problem, I’ll just take an antibiotic.” For many infections, like sinus infections this can cure the problem. Unfortunately, for dental problems antibiotics take a significantly lesser role. Antibiotics can help ease the symptoms of infection but they can’t cure the infection on their own. Infections arising from bacteria inside the teeth aren’t cured by antibiotic treatment because the do not remove the source.
Tooth infection is usually the result of dental procedures (fillings, crowns etc.), a cavity, or trauma. These problems can result in discomfort or can be discovered by your dentist on routine examination. Without the protection of healthy tooth structure and pulpal blood flow bacteria can reach the dental pulp where the tooth’s nerve and blood vessels are located. When they tissues are dead or damaged bacteria already living in our mouths find these tissues and use them as a food source. In addition, the pulpal and root canal space make a perfect breeding ground for infection because the space is warm, has ample food supply and is protected from your immune system by the tooth structure itself! In some cases the infection can spread to the tissues surrounding the tooth, and occasionally to other parts of the body, often without warning. This can strain your immune system and be potentially life threating.
If your dentist prescribes an antibiotic, it’s primarily to prevent the infection from spreading until proper treatment is performed to solve the problem. The pain may lessen or temporarily go away, but since antibiotics don’t penetrate the abscess very well, the bacteria can linger or return if the cause of the infection isn’t addressed. Once the nerve becomes infected, antibiotics take a back seat; a root canal treatment is the only way to remove the infected nerve and save the tooth. That’s when an endodontist should enter the picture.
Endodontists are specialists—skilled and knowledgeable professionals specifically trained and dedicated to preserving your teeth. They are up to date on the latest techniques and technology available for smooth and painless root canal treatments. If your dentist has referred you to Professional Endodontics or you are searching for an endodontist on your own, we invite you to contact us and learn more about safely eliminating a dental infection. You’ll find we are, indeed, specialists in saving teeth.
And to minimize the chance of a dental infection, a subsequent abscess, and a root canal procedure—painless as it may be, there is a relatively easy step you can take: a routine dental exam every six months can help prevent dental infections from happening in the first place.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes in treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Hour Detroit Magazine’s Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics offers state-of-the-art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Southfield. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental delivery systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034
Henry Ford Hospital Medical Pavilion
16151 19 Mile Rd, Suite 101
Clinton Township, MI 48038
St. Clair Shores
St. Clair Professional Plaza
23829 Little Mack, Suite 300
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080