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Root Canals

Root canal: improper restoration: Cyst



I had a root canal done about 3 years ago.. a file broke in a canal.. he said the tip of it broke off..and it was no big deal.. no attempt to retrive it was done..and he carried on.. Now, i have recently expericend great pain in that tooth. I was sent to Endodontist and i have a Cyst below the root of that tooth, That canal which has half the file in it.. Its clear the tooth was not completely cleaned out.. and over half the file is still in the tooth. a significant portion of the root was never cleaned..leading to this Cyst.. is this typical? does the dentist that did the original root canal have any reponsibilites in this matter.. or do i now pay another 2000 dollars to fix it..on my own.. the original root canal cost 2000 dollars.. i had/have no insurance..so its getting very expensive. inparticular expensive to fix the improper restoration... thanks for ur comments


Unfortunately files do separate during root canal treatment at a rate of about 5%. There are no studies available that have tracked the true implications of this happening. However, the time when the file separation occurs seems to be critical. If the file separates before the root canal has been cleaned out, there may be tissue or debris left in the canal which could cause future problems. If the file separates after debridement of the canal, the prognosis is better. The file itself usually does not cause any problem as long as it is in the root canal and not out in the bone (see previous questions about this issue).

You should talk to your dentist about your concerns over the cost of having the root canal redone. See if something can be worked out. There is no set regulation/law concerning responsibility for this that I know of.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University