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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

File broke off while having a root canal

02/15/2010

Question:

the dentist broke off a file while doing a root canal and we left it there. about 1 to 2 years later i started having vision trouble in my left eye, head aches and my sinuses on the left side were always plugged up.i have been going back and forth to doctor after doctor and was finally diagnosed with chronic sinusitus. still having no relief from pain and foggy vision surgery was done on my sinuses. after surgery i was checked everything looked good.i went back for another check up 3 months later and the surgeon said my sinuses looked raw.i still had no relief from my original symptoms and kept thinking about the file in the root of my tooth. long story short after seeing a specialist i had the tooth removed. i am still in pain and have infection in that area. what should i do? thanks

Answer:

At this point, from what you've described, it's difficult to tell whether the infection still lies in a tooth or retained tooth root (which can sometimes infect the sinus), or is now just in your sinuses.  It is unlikely that any piece from that file remains, as this would most likely have been apparent on an x-ray or during you surgeries.  You do need to get rid of any infection to feel better.  I suggest you consider another opinion from an ENT physician, and if that opinion is your sinus is fine, then I would consult an oral surgeon regarding your tooth.

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati