Dentist Questions Root Canal

What medications are prescribed after a root canal?

I need to have a root canal at the end of the week, and my dentist said that he sometimes gives his patients antibiotics after the treatment. I'm really confused. I didn't question it at first, but now home, I thought the root canal is supposed to take my infection away completely. Why would I need antibiotics?

14 Answers

Sometimes the infection is outside the tooth and antibiotics are necessary.
The Root Canal treatment removes the cause of the infection and it along with the antibiotic helps to get rid of the existing infection
It’s strongly recommended to avoid reinfection and discomfort. Antibiotic of choice is Amoxicillin.
It just helps with the healing process sometimes...depends on how bad the abcess or infection had gotten or has gotten.
Very good question! There may be times antibiotics are indicated especially if there is purulence (pus) present when opening up an infected tooth. This is not the situation for the majority of root canals we treat. In the past, antibiotics were routinely prescribed, you may have noticed over the past few years we are not recommending antibiotics for many procedures where it was used in the past. Examples of this are joint replacement after one year, (unless there was complications, uncontrolled diabetes, or patients have a compromised immune system, prophylactic medication for heart murmur. For most endo a full course of antibiotics or any is not required. Best to talk with your dentist for their recommendation as each situation is customized to the health history of the patient.

Dr. Joe Ferraro
It is not unusual for your dentist to prescribe antibiotics or pain medication after a root canal. It is not always necessary, but if there was infection inside of the tooth, and even though it was removed during the root canal, taking a course of antibiotics can help to accelerate the healing process. As far as pain medication, sometimes the tooth can feel sore after the procedure, and a prescription for pain medication can help control the discomfort.
A root canal will take care of the pain by getting the nerve out of the tooth. The bacteria that are present in the bone below the tooth remain because you do not typically reach this area with a root canal. These bacteria are now sealed in this area and the best and quickest way to rid yourself of them is to take antibiotics.
If it's done well, you don't need them, also depends on how severe infection
Root Canal Treatment treats the INSIDE of the tooth by removing the source of the infection. If there is bacteria remaining OUTSIDE of the tooth, this needs to be treated with antibiotics.
It really depends on the case, but if your tooth is infected to begin with, sometimes during root canal procedure some more bacteria get out of the tooth into your jaw bone. To help with this additional bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed. That's the reason sometimes a tooth hurts more than before the root canal.
Depending on the circumstances, a patient may leave a root canal appointment with a prescription for an antibiotic and/or pain medication.
It depends on how bad the infection is. So yes you might need antibiotics to help remove all the bacteria from the body.
Depending on the situation, sometimes an antibiotic is used to make sure all the pathogens (bacteria) are under control. It is not uncommon. Tooth disease is bacteria driven. Your dentist is making sure your outcome is appropriate.

Dr. Jensen
Antibiotics after a root canal treatment are sometimes necessary depending on the condition of the tooth. The treatment removes the source of infection and inflammation but the antibiotics are an adjunct when necessary.