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Root Canals

Root canal

01/03/2007

Question:

my daughter injured her front teeth in a sports injury which required 2 root canals. She just had the one year check up and one of the teeth "is not doing well" and will require it to be done again. the xray shows a shadow around one of the roots. the dr says if redoing the root canal doesn`t work it may require surgery and or an implant. what does all this mean. the dr. was rather vague saying "the root canal didn`t work" why not? thanks for any insight.

Answer:

Saying that the "root canal didn't work" is a simplified explanation for a more complicated issue.  Traumatized teeth are 100% unpredictable and may react to a blow in a number of different ways.  Some of these are an infection in the tooth or bone, improper healing, or a situation in which the tooth has been disturbed and it tries to resolve the situation by eating away at itself (resorbing the tooth).  Doing a root canal after the initial problem does not always take care of the situation indefinitely. 

There are different procedures, medications, etc. that can be used to address the situation but the most important one of these is frequent recalls.  There is no way for me to know exactly what is happening in this particular situation, but the important thing is to continue to visit your dentist or endodontist so that they can try to catch any unfortunate sequelae as early as possible.  Trying to address any problems early can help to prevent them from becoming beyond repair.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University