In November 2019, my dentist sent me to an endodontist for a root canal. After the procedure, the endodontist said that he found some curved roots, and he hoped the root canal would work. I took the antibiotics that the endodontist prescribed.
About two months later, I had an appointment with my dentist for a routine cleaning and exam. I told the hygienist that the pain from the root canal tooth was referring to the tooth in front of it. My dentist looked at the tooth, but he didn’t do an x-ray. He said I should let him know if the referring pain didn’t settle down. I called the office the next month because I thought that was enough time for any improvement, but I didn’t hear back from the office. My next dental appointment was in July 2020 for a cleaning and exam. I complained about the tooth again, so my dentist did an x-ray and said that he sees some infection. He referred me back to the endodontist who prescribed penicillin tablets.
After taking the penicillin tablets, I still had tooth pain. I went to an oral surgeon who extracted the tooth. Now I have sinus pain, facial pain, and earaches. But the area where the tooth was extracted still hurts. In addition to the pain and infection issue, I was supposed to start Invisalign treatment after the root canal tooth was stable. Now the tooth is gone, which alters my Invisalign treatment plan, and I still have problems. I feel like it’s going to be years before this is resolved. I feel like I might have an infection in my jawbone, but I don’t know who to trust. And now I need to find a new dentist to do my Invisalign, too. Could I still have an infection after the extraction? Thank you. Micah from Arkansas
Unfortunately, you did not have a follow-up appointment with an endodontist. Often, an endodontist can save a tooth with root canal retreatment or root canal surgery. But sometimes, an extraction is necessary.
An Infection After Tooth Extraction
It is rare to have an infection after tooth extraction. The extraction leaves an open socket with a drainage path that helps your body get rid of the infection. But if you have a lingering infection, consider why it might occur and what your surgeon can do about it.
- A closed extraction site can promote infection – Post-operative infection can occur if a tooth is fully impacted, extracted, and the surgeon stitches the tissue over the site.
- Stronger antibiotics for the infection – Sometimes, a lingering infection requires strong post-operative antibiotics to help your body get rid of it. We recommend that you return to the oral surgeon for an evaluation. You have taken penicillin already, so if you still have an infection, it is probably penicillin-resistant. Your oral surgeon might prescribe another strong antibiotic, like clindamycin.
Dental Implants and Invisalign After Tooth Extraction
After your infection is gone, you can begin talking with a new dentist about your options for replacing the tooth and starting Invisalign treatment. Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth, but they are anchored in the bone, and orthodontic treatment won’t move implants. As your natural teeth move with Invisalign, the position of the dental implants may harm them.
You will complete Invisalign treatment first. Afterward, an implant dentist can identify the best location for your dental implant.
If you decide to switch dentists, look for advanced training in occlusion and bite and implantology, and extensive experience with Invisalign.
David Finley, DDS, of Monroe, LA sponsors this post.