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Root Canals

File in Tooth after Visit to Endodontist

09/21/2010

Question:

I recently visited a Dentist after suffering from tooth pain for over a year. Through x-rays and physical exam, the dentist determined that the tooth needed a root canal done. I was happy to hear that the problem with my tooth would be solved... so I thought. During the procedure, the dentist broke off not one, but two files in my tooth in separate canals. After closing my tooth with a temporary filling, the dentist called me into his office and informed me of the complications. He explained to me that he had broken off 2 files, each around 15mm deep into my 21mm roots. He referred me to an endodontist who was able to remover one of the files and "get around" the other. This is now 13 days after the initial root canal and 11 days after the trip to the endodontist.

Here is my question; I am still having pain to this tooth, worse now than when I initially went to see the dentist. My dentist wants to see me again to "open back up" the tooth and take a look. I still have one file in my tooth and am already experiencing complications. The tooth in question is my lower, far most back molar. I no longer have dental insurance and feel that this is going to carry on for some while. Should I allow my dentist to open back up my tooth and take one last look or should I just cut my losses and have the tooth extracted. Bottom line is that I want the pain to stop, I want it for the least cost available and I want relief as soon as possible. Loosing sleep at night from a toothache and not being able to chew on that side of my mouth are hindering my daily life.

Thank You and Please help, 

Answer:

I would follow-up with your endodontist if you are still having pain. Since they just completed your treatment, they should be able to guide you to the best course of action. 

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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