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March 3, 2003

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Question from Patterson, New York, USA:

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my dentist told me I could no longer have root canals, but now he is recommending two root canals, and I don't understand his change of mind. He told me that he never said this. He said that he could give me antibiotics after the root canals, but I have had four root canals when I did not have diabetes, and all of them have become infected. He also said that if I had the teeth removed (two back molars) it would be bad for my nutrition.

Answer:

There is no reason that a person with diabetes cannot have root canal therapy. The approach in my opinion should be conservative with antibiotic therapy before, during and immediately after root canal therapy. This limits the “flare-ups” that can be observed. Permanent restoration of the affected tooth is imperative to restore it to “function”. If you have concerns there are dentists specializing in root canals. They are called endodontists.

Removal of teeth and non-replacement of them could affect your nutrition. Please remember that the mouth is the first part of the digestive process.

FV