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Long term infection with root canal



Junior member
Oct 18, 2022
Hi all,

I’m new to this forum and I hope I can find some comfort and help for my massive anxiety that is causing me some recent depression too. I have an issue with an infection on one of my molars on the lower right. I feel this infection has been presented for a very long time maybe over 7-8 years, and short story goes like this:
I had a RCT in 2007 which was not a great experience for me and my fear of dentistry. Back in 2018 during a examination it was found under x-ray that I had an infection. At that time I knew something was not right as I can see the pus on the gym from time to time. In 2019 I opted for a second root canal to cure the infection. And I thought this worked as my dentist put a crown a few months after the second root canal as done. During the Covid pandemic my visit to the dentist was reduced to none and for year and a half I’ve not had examination.
During that time I could still see from time to time pus coming out of my gum so I had some suspicion that there was again a problem. Now a month ago I had another full examination at my private dentist and some fillings done, but after their x-ray it was obvious the infection was still there. Now I’ve done some research and I’m really panicking how stupid I have been to have an infection for such a long time, it’s giving me a proper depression.

The dentist advised to extract the tooth but this is where I’m getting really scared, big anxiety to lose my tooth ( I had one wisdom tooth surgically removed which was a very unpleasant experience)
I know I can put an implant but even that causes me more serious concern.
The other option is to try 3rd tooth canal but my dentist says I need to go to specialist as it seems there is a broken tool inside the root feeling. I’m very much panicking for the extraction is I’m hoping for some reassurance or advice if I shall try the root canal again.

Attached is my X-ray for illustration.

Thank you in advance.


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Hey there! Welcome to the life boat of fellow dentally anxious people.

First, and I am still learning to do this, don't be so hard on yourself. We literally had a global pandemic, which made us already anxious people even more anxious. We can't change the past (still working on coping with my regrets) but we have options now, here, and we can move forward. Second, I have the same problem (plus a few more which aren't relevant right now) to what you are going through. The fear of extraction. While my dentist was explaining that I need it and a graft and an implant, I tried to be calm. I think I mostly succeeded, until she noticed the glazed look in my eyes. But the word alone conjured cheesy horror movie scenes to my imagination so trust me, you are not alone.

I've replaced the offending word with what it is meant as... They need to take out something that is harming my body. It's really long but it helps me breathe through thinking of the journey ahead. I still struggle with panic, with wanting to flea from the idea, but then I remember they want to remove something that is actively harming me, they do not want to harm me, they want to take away something harming me. It doesn't make the E word less terrifying, but it helps me focus on the step in front of me vs what feels like the mountain I need to climb and if all I can do is one step for the day, like breathe when I see the E word, then that is the best I can do for the day and that is ok.
Hi not sure what your question is?

That tooth looks like it has a very poor chance of being fixable. It does however look like a very, very easy extraction if that helps any.
@SteelT I don’t know what you ended up doing, but I’d seek opinion of a private endotontist before just having it extracted as they specialise in root canals and complex cases. It’s always preferable to try and save the tooth. If you’re going to get it extracted have a plan before you do it as to whether you want to have an implant. Because if you do I think it’s better to get that done by person who will do your implant as you may need some guided bone regeneration at same time. I’ve just gone through 2 root canals privately, one was on a molar that nhs said was unsaveable. I also am part through implant process on another molar where I’d fractured a tooth, hopefully it will work ou, I needed bone graft and had periodontal issues. I was told by nhs dentist wouldn’t be suitable for implant because of loss of bone, and that I’d need a sinus lift, I didn’t and they were wrong, all my issues exacerbated by covid too. Trying to give myself best chance on all 3 teeth as once a tooth is pulled out there us no going back and you need to have a plan, be at peace with the decisions you make and know you’ve given yourself the best shot. Good luck .