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Root Canals

Calcification of the root canal

02/21/2007

Question:

i recently went to the dentist and when he looked at my xray it showed infection. i had been having pain in that tooth for about a week. however, when he took of the crown and opened up the tooth he said he couldn`t get into the root canal because it was too calisifed. have you heard of this before and will an endodontist be able to get through the calisifcation?

Answer:

The calcification that your dentist found is common. The degree of calcification is what becomes the problem. The tissue within the tooth begins to recede and lay down more tooth structure as it ages and as work is done to the tooth. The more work, the more extensive or deeper the work, the more calcification that can occur.

Eventually the tissue cannot heal itself and dies off, and that is what is seen in the x-ray, a shadow around the root of the tooth. Your case may need to be referred to a root canal specialist who has more experience and the tools to look for and treat the calcified canal.

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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