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Root Canals

Dental instruments left after work.

09/21/2006

Question:

Can a piece of dental instrument left behind after a root canal have adverse effects on the tooth later on, even up to several years after?

I lost my tooth after infection set in but this was several years following the root canal. What options does a person have to try and gain some closure with the dental office after this?

Answer:

Instrument separation does occasionally occur. See previous postings about this issue.

The cause of the secondary infection, years after the root canal was completed, was most likely not due to a separated instrument. It was probably due to another factor that allowed bacteria to gain access to the root canal. If the instrument had been the cause, the problem would, generally, have surfaced much earlier. The separated instrument may have prevented retreatment of the tooth however. I cannot tell without reviewing the case.

I am unable to answer your second question because I do not have the details about what issues are being debated.

For more information:

Go to the Root Canals health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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