Why aren’t they trying to save the tooth?

My husband had a root canal done a little over a year ago. The dentist is now saying they want to extract the tooth due to an abscess. Dr never said anything about opening the tooth to see if they might have missed something earlier. No antibiotics were given or pain medication, so my husband is taking more than 12 tablets of ibuprofen daily and the soonest appointment we could get is June 1st. As I was once a treatment coordinator for a dental office, I’m very concerned about why this dentist doesn’t want to try to save the tooth, or why antibiotics weren’t prescribed for such a serious infection. What is your take on this?
– Kelly from Minnesota

Dear Kelly,
What your husband has is a failed root canal treatment. This can happen. With root canal treatment, in spite of the best we can do, there is always a chance that it will fail. But it concerns me that so little was apparently explained and that you weren’t given any options. I haven’t examined your husband’s tooth nor seen any x-rays, so I don’t know for sure, but there is almost always an option going back in and re-treating the root canal, or root canal surgery to save a tooth. Those options and the risks and benefits should be explained. It also concerns me that, with this infection and the pain your husband is in, that they aren’t treating this until June 1, seven weeks away. All these things make me wonder if this office is too busy.

I would get a second opinion.

Links to related information:
Read more about tooth extractions
At Hylan Dental Care, “We cater to cowards.” Read more about Cleveland gentle dentistry.