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How long do dental abscesses last for? And is apicectomy worth it?



Junior member
May 3, 2018
Hi, I’m new here and just wondered what other peoples experiences were of having dental abscesses and how long they have lasted?

I have had an infection which probably started around 15 years ago, and was triggered by a fall when I was a child.

The infection was found 3 years ago when had abscess and since then I’ve been under a specialist endodontist and had 5 root canals done (on two separate teeth) and my gum has been lanced.

Last root canal was done almost 6 months ago - gone for check up and infection has gotten smaller but still there. Given option to wait for 6 - 12 months to see if it gets smaller or opt for apicectomy. I opted for apicectomy in 3 months time as fed up of waiting for this infection to go and notice the discomfort almost daily though it is minimal. The root canal went well though and have had two dentists say the endodontist did a good job. Also the infection had got smaller 2 years ago but then after a check up a year later it got bigger and looks like a cyst has developed so scared that will happen again..but not sure if I made wrong choice - is it normal for infections to last this long?

I was expecting the infection to have gone after all the treatment but maybe it takes time and I should just wait to see if it does continue to decrease?

I feel sick thinking about having surgery but I do want this all to be over now.

Thoughts, please?
Hi there,

My experience is as follows. Had an abscess just over a year ago. It was so painful I basically couldn't function - worse than childbirth in my opinion. Went to the emergency dentist at the hospital, got antibiotics & told to register with a dentist for extraction.
Of course, being so scared, once the pain had gone I ignored it for almost another year. It would niggle now & again & then flared up so I was back to unbearable pain.
My husband made me have the extraction this time & after I had healed I realised that I'd pretty much spent the last year on tenterhooks, waiting for it to flare up again.
That's no way to live - I would advise getting it treated in the knowledge that once it's gone, it can't bother you any more.
Hope this helps & good luck with whatever you decide to do
Thank you, both for replying.

Devon’s mum: gosh, that sounds horrendous with your pain! Glad that it got it sorted in the end, though. Thanks for your advice.
I feel sick thinking about having surgery but I do want this all to be over now.

Thoughts, please?

Apicectomy done by an endodontist with effective local aneasthesia needn't be horrific at all. I have had one myself and the tooth survives comfortably several years on. If the root canal fails the only other option is extraction (and implant). If you are currently suffering it might be best to do it sooner rather than later as another poster said. Good luck.

i just wanted to say that I had it done and I’m glad i did as the infection was bigger than they had thought and was a cyst. It wasn’t a pleasant experience but think it went well and psychologically, it has made a really big difference, not having to worry about that thing in my mouth. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks, guys! ??