When swelling is present, antibiotics can help along with treatment. The antibiotics help your body to localize and contain the infection. Antibiotics alone will not cure an endodontic infection! When a tooth requires a root canal, your choices for treatment are limited. Your choices are either have the root canal or extract the tooth. Antibiotics will only temporarily calm the problems, but will not remove the problem.
When a patient isn’t swollen, I rarely prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics can not travel inside of the root canal to kill bacteria. So they do not serve a true purpose when there is not swelling associated with the sick tooth.
Root canal treatment is chemomechanical. This means that the root canal is cleaned and disinfected by the combination of mechanical cleaning with our instruments and biochemical cleaning with the disinfecting treatment solutions. This alone removes endodontic infections from inside of the tooth.