Antibiotics after a root canal treatment


An antibiotic is a drug that helps the body to kill the bacteria present during an acute infection. Each antibiotic has a different mechanism of action and is therefore used specifically for certain diseases. In the field of dentistry, e.g. for inflammations in the jaw, the antibiotic amoxicillin has become particularly popular. This is also prescribed after a root canal treatment if the inflammation is very severe and accompanied by pus.

Who needs antibiotics after a root canal treatment?

After a root canal treatment, antibiotics are rarely indicated. Pus is often involved in a very severe inflammation. When the tooth is opened, pus flows out of it and indicates that there are many bacteria in the inflammatory cavity.

Often this disease is accompanied by severe pain and hot-cold sensitivity in advance. In some cases, the body is not able to fight the high number of bacteria on its own. This is where the antibiotic helps by reducing the number and thus healing the inflammation.

However, antibiotics are not usually necessary after a root canal treatment. If there is a tendency to spread, one should be prescribed for safety reasons. However, root canal treatments are carried out from time to time even when there is no acute inflammation.

For example, if the nerve is injured by the dentist during drilling because the caries had already penetrated too much into the depths. In this case there are no acute complaints in advance, only sometimes a dull pulling or pricking while eating. In this case, antibiotics are usually not necessary.

What antibiotics are available?

For the dentist, the antibiotic amoxicillin is the drug of first choice. It is administered in the form of tablets, but can also be administered by infusion during a hospital stay. By inhibiting the cell wall structure of the bacteria, this drug reduces the number of bacteria.

In order to increase the effect, this substance is combined with clavulanic acid. This increases the amoxicillin level by protecting the amoxicillin from degradation. This results in a higher and longer effect and thus a quick healing of the disease.

This antibiotic belongs to the group of penicillins and must not be used in patients with penicillin allergy. Then the antibiotic clindamycin is used. Clindamycin has established itself in dentistry as a good alternative.

It belongs to the lincosamide antibiotics and cuts off the bacteria’s supply of nutrients. However, the side effects are often more severe than those of penicillins, especially inflammation of the colon occurs more frequently than with other antibiotics. This topic might also be of interest to you: Allergy caused by amoxicillinAs with all other diseases that require antibiotics, it is important to check carefully during pregnancy which medication is suitable.

In dentistry, penicillins have become particularly popular with expectant mothers, as they can be used throughout pregnancy. However, the potency enhancer clavulanic acid should not be used, as its safety has not been confirmed. If there is an allergy to penicillins, then a drug with the active ingredient erythromycin can be used.

A bacterial infection should not be handled lightly. A doctor’s recommendation should always be followed, as it can be more dangerous to let the disease progress than to take an antibiotic. In case of doubt, the mother’s life comes first, as only a healthy woman can give birth to a healthy child.

Breastfeeding while taking an antibiotic is not recommended in most cases in order not to harm the child. During this time, the baby should be fed special milk products from Hipp, Aptamil or other manufacturers. Therapy should only be carried out under the strict supervision of the treating physician so that no permanent damage to mother or child occurs.