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Root Canals

Root canal after apical surgery



I have a crown on #9 which is about 30 years old. I had apical surgery on the root about 8 years ago. That never really stopped the infection. Now I have pain and inflammation. The entodontist is going to do a root canal, but apparently it will be risky because the apex of the root is gone, so the filling material might just pour out the hole and not harden and close off the root. What are my chances of success here? It looks like apical surgery ruins the chances for future root canals.


Since you are actively being treated by an endodontist, I would direct any questions directly to him/her since they know your exact situation and should be able to answer your questions more specifically. For a general answer, doing a root canal after the end of the root has been removed (from apical surgery) can be tricky because the root canal anatomy is no longer "normal." However, there have been many advances in visual aids, instrumentation techniques, and filling materials in endodontics that could help in this situation. Your endodontist can address success because that depends on the status of your particular tooth.

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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