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Root Canals

Root canal

12/15/2006

Question:

I had a root canal on one of my molars approximately 10 years ago and about two days ago, it started hurt tremendously. About 4 months ago, it cracked and I scheduled an appointment with my dentist who indicated that the tooth can be saved and that it looks fine. Could the problem be that the root canal needs to be redone?

Answer:

Teeth with previous root canal therapy can become symptomatic for a number of reasons with a crack being one of them. A crack in a tooth can create a space for bacteria or other irritating substances to enter a root canal that was previously protected from these ingresses. This may lead to symptoms. Redoing a root canal can help in some cases, but if the crack extends too far down the root, the tooth can not be held together and would not be able to be saved.

Without evaluating your particular case, it is impossible for me to determine whether having a root canal redone will help in this particular situation. I suggest being evaluated by your dentist or endodontist to determine the proper course of treatment since it has been 4 months since your last exam and new symptoms have now developed.

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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