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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Broken file left in tooth after root canal



Is it normal to leave a file in the root of the tooth after root canal therapy and what are the files made of. I`ve been having problems and also need to know how this situation would affect my getting an M.R.I of the head.


It is not "normal" to leave an instrument in a tooth, but at times, even with the best precautions, it is unavoidable. If you look at the referenced links below you can read about the frequency and some of the consequences. Endodontic files are made of either surgical stainless steel or nickel-titanium.

As far as getting an MRI of your head, the instrument should not pose any complications. Most patients have gold or metal crowns and silver fillings and these don't cause issues with the MRI unless the area being examined is right where the metal filling/crown is located.

Related Resources:

What is the damage on broken file?
File break and root canal
Broken instrument
Root canal problem

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Adults) 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