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Posted by Sandra Kao on December 06, 2000 at 14:26:44:

In Reply to: Re: 4-year old son has undergone 4 fillings, 2 root canals, and seemingly endless antibiotics. posted by Shaelle on December 06, 2000 at 00:21:35:

: : Ever since an accident that occurred 6 months ago, my 4-year old son has undergone 4 fillings (for cavities), 2 root canals, and seemingly endless antibiotics. During rough playing with his friends outside, his two front teeth were knocked in. They eventually moved back into place, but one of the teeth darkened, and an infection developed. A root canal, along with 14 days of penicillin cleared up the infection. Shortly thereafter (approx 5 weeks later), an infection developed in the other tooth. Another root canal was performed, and he is now on his 16th day of the same antibiotic (Penicillin VK). I am worried that within a period of less than three months, he has taken a total of 30 days of penicillin (4 doses per day). The second infection doesn't seem to be responding as well to the antibiotic, and has not yet cleared up. Can this be an indication that he is developing a resistance to the penicillin? Now, the dentist is prescribing another antibiotic (Clyndamyacin). If this does not clear up the infection, then the tooth will have to come out. Does this all sound like proper procedure? Should I be worried that he is taking such a large amount of antibiotics in a short period of time, when he is at such a young age? I also feel terrible every time I give him this medicine b/c it upsets his stomach, and he complains about not feeling well. It's difficult having to reassure my son that all of this medicine is the best for him, when I'm not even sure myself.

: : Your advice is greatly appreciated...

: Your son could be building up a resistance to the antibiotic. But actually it is not your son who is building up the resistance it is the bacteria that is causing the infection. To keep the bacteria from building up a resistance to the antibiotic you need to be sure that you are properly following the directions on the prescription. Yes, if the first antibiotic is not clearing up the infection then the Dr. needs to try another antibiotic. The Dentist CANNOT work on the tooth in any way until the infection is gone, b/c he will not be able to numb the tooth prior to doing the root canal (pulpotomy in this case). And you don't want to put your son through a "root canal" with out anesthesia. Also if you are not already doing so, SEE A PEDIATRIC DENTIST. A dentist who specializes in children, it may cost you more if it is not covered under your insurance, BUT for the sake of your son, he may be better off in the long run, and less truamatized. Pediatric dentists specialize in children and have methods for doing dentistry on young children that will not traumatize the child and scare them away from future dental visits.
: Hang in there!!

Thanks for your help, Shaelle and gramame. After we requested a change in antibiotic, the dentist prescribed Cleocin. If this doesn't help within the next few days, then we will ask to have the tooth removed. My son is seeing a pediatric dentist. He had the two previous root canals with no anesthetic (nothing at all). It was very traumatic for all of us. Had I known what I know now, I would've asked to have the tooth removed from the very beginning.

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