Come visit us at www.rondentist.com

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Teeth Don't Fall Out After Root Canal Treatment

All kinds of interesting questions come me almost on a daily basis and it is amazing how many repeat themselves over the years.  I guess that is why they are called frequently asked questions.  A little while ago a patient came in and required a root canal.  When I told her she required a root canal treatment she asked me "my friend had a root canal treatment and she said that after the treatment the tooth just fell out.  Is that what happens?"  I smiled at the patient ( I have heard this question before) and told her that this was not true.  I had a root canal in a front tooth of mine when I was about 9 or 10 and it is still there almost 40 years later (yes now you can figure out how old I am).  Many times people do not realize that a tooth that has had a root canal must have a filling and crown placed on this tooth.  This is because teeth that have root canals are usually broken down or have large fillings to begin with.  When the root canal is done even more tooth structure is taken away to do the root canal.  So what you are left with is a severely weakened tooth.  You must first restore the tooth with a filling and possibly posts and pins, then the tooth must be crowned to hold it all together.  This is the case for posterior teeth, front teeth may be different due to the function of these teeth.  In any case a tooth that is not properly restored after the rootcanal is in danger of breaking and eventually being extracted.  I have seen it happen literally within a week of completing the root canal and we didn't have enough time to place the crown.  Those are really sad cases because the patient did not neglect the treatment but just didn't have enough time to finish it.  In other cases this may not occur for  years but many times a patient will come in saying they have broken a tooth and of course it is a rootcanal tooth that did not have the crown that we recommended.  I always tell my patients having root canals on their back teeth that they will need crowns after the root canal treatment.

In short I assured my patient that teeth that have root canals do not just fall out after the treatment!


http://www.rondentist.com/

73 comments:

  1. i had root canal treatment done and three weeks later my filling fell out, i am now left with the root of my tooth which cant be removed and so i was informed by my dentist that my gum would have to be cut to remove the root. i am now in a lot of pain in the tooth next to the affected one, it feels like it could explode. Do you think there could be an infection?

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  2. Dear cad_p,
    Sorry for getting back to you so late but yesterday was quite a hectic day at the office.
    You have a number of possibilities here and without seeing and checking, I can’t tell you for sure. But lets go over a number of possibilities.
    If your tooth feels like it is about to explode then there is building pressure somewhere and until that pressure is relieved you will not feel better.
    The pressure can be in the tooth itself or at the end of the root. If the pressure is in the tooth, it needs to be opened and a root canal treatment done. If the pressure is at the end of the root you may still need a root canal. All this assumes that it is the tooth ahead of the one that already had the root canal. Another possibility is that something (such as food) is wedged between the tooth with the root canal and the one ahead of it causing pain and pressure. If something is wedged between the teeth it needs to be removed.
    Now, there also exists the possibility that the pain is coming from the tooth that had the root canal and the filling is now gone. Something must be wrong there or else you dentist wouldn’t have said that it needs to come out.

    I wish I could be a little more specific but there are just to many possibilities without examining the teeth. My recommendation to you is to see your dentist ASAP and if you are not comfortable with him/her then find a new one.

    I hope it all works out for you.
    Keep me posted

    Dr. Ron

    www.rondentist.blogspot.com
    www.rondentist.com

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  3. hello doctor, I have done my root canal in three of my posterior teeth's.One of them was done 5months ago and the others last week.The earlier treated root canal teeth started paining again after three months,Finally after few medications the doc removed it,I lost lot of money n my tooth.the doc said the tooth got affected again thro the gums,is tat a possibility or that an improper treatment ?!!? again I have done my root canal with him,going to crown them,but the question is what if I experience the same problem again ? Can i check with another doc n crown them or can I proceed with the same doc.
    Thanks in adavance
    rajkumar (India)

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    1. Hi Raj,
      The most important thing about doing a root canal is a proper diagnosis and explaining to the patient what are the possibilities of success or not. In your particular case I don't have enough information to make a proper diagnosis and tell you what happened but I can comment on your points.
      I don't know what it means that the tooth got infected through the gums. If there was a problem in the gums then why not treat the gums or if the problem was so bad in the gums the tooth should have been taken out at the beginning. If there was another infection as a result of the tooth, there could have been a fracture in the tooth, there could have been a missed canal not cleaned, the treatment may not have been done properly. Exactly what the problelm was I can not tell you without actually examining the tooth and seeing the xrays. The bottom line is that if you don't feel comfortable with this dentist then get a second opinion

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  4. After bumping my front top tooth it became really loose, this when I was 9 I think and had to get a root canal done. I am 25 now and am kinda worried about it falling out, every now and then I get small little pains in that area. The last time went to the dentist he said that I might have gingavitouse I can't remember if he said I did have it or might get it. I keep my teeth well brushed and there pretty wight but I have quite aces cavities and a impacted wisdom tooth. I was just worried if any of thoughs this could cause my tooth to fall out. And plus back then my mom was on welfare and I'm not sure if it could account for the dentist to be not as good as another.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jorge,
      Next time you go to the dentist, ask him or her specifically what is the situation with this tooth? Is there a root canal in this tooth? If so, does it look healthy or is there an infection in the bone around the root canal? Is there gum disease around the tooth? ( this has nothing to do with the root canal that you had or bumping your tooth but you could lose your tooth from this.) Do you have cavities in this tooth? (Again, this has nothing to do with the bump or root canal but if your tooth is rotten then it can still break apart and need to be taken out)
      When your dentist asnwers these questions you will know exactly the situation and this will put your worries to rest as to wether this tooth is in good shape or not?
      Dr. B

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  5. I had a root canal on my very back lower molar years ago and realy there is very little of that tooth left just a huge filling. Today the rest of the filling fell out along with a long wire that I assume is the root canal. I am concerned about the opening left. I have hardly any tooth, it is broken to the gum line. I have no pain. What can be done> should I be on antibiotic since essentially I have an opening in the root of that old broken off tooth.

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  6. Hi Lisodo,
    Sorry for replying back so late but I apparently missed the comment. I just saw it today.
    As far as your tooth I am sure you have taken care of it already but if you haven't this is what I recommend.

    The tooth has to be closed immediately with at least a temporary filling as leaving the root canal open can allow bacteria from the mouth to move into the root canal and cause an infection.
    The tooth has to be assessed as to any decay present. If there is a lot of decay the tooth may have to come out. If there is no decay and assuming the original root canal treatment is OK, the tooth should be built back up and a crown placed.

    All the best

    Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  7. My son had a root canal done when he was 13 front top tooth from an accident.
    He is 26 now and had a bike accident a few weeks ago hit his front teeth and it has been feeling strange since. Now he thinks it has discolored a little,went to a dentist out west where he moved. This guy is sending him to an endo to have another root canal on same tooth. does this sound right? worried cause this doc found 7 cavities that his dentist here last year did not talk about.

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    1. Well you really have me over a barrel here. There is really not enough information here for me to give you much help. Having said this, I can tell you that a tooth with a previous root canal will not discolor after a blow. Only a tooth that has not previously had a root canal will discolor after a blow. So perhaps it is not the same tooth that previously had a rootcanal. If it is the same tooth that previously had a root canal perhaps there is a problem with the previous treatment. As to the 7 cavities, one of these two dentists is right and you should find out which. I would advise getting one more opinion.

      I hope that I have helped a little.

      All the Best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  8. Hello Dr Barzilay,
    I had a root canal many years ago and since the crown falls out all the time and it bleeds and smells really bad. After telling my dentist over and over again they referred me to a specialist who just found out that the dentist who did the first root canal missed a canal and it got infected that's why i was having so much pain. My question is if i get a crown on it again will it keep falling out? Or did it fall out because it was infected. Also my appointment to get my crown on isnt until 2 weeks from now how do I keep this clean from getting infected again I have a huge hole there it is my number 3 tooth. Thanks

    Jen

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    1. Hi Jen,
      You have some really good questions here, so much so that I wrote a blog on it. Please refer to my blog of Aug.25, 2012 for your answers and if you have any more questions please don't hesitate to ask.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  9. I had a root canal done when.i.had insurance and it fixed the pain issue i was unable.to.crown it and now.im.in.pain when.i.put pressure.on.it i.want to.get it looked at but have no insurance and dont.now what to do.any.suggestions?

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    1. Hi Mark,
      I feel for you because this is a problem that a lot of people run into. Read my blog of May 22, 2012 regarding the issue of insurance. Regarding what to do with your tooth now, well you are going to have to visit a dentist to find out what the problem is and what the solution maybe including cost. The possibilities range from, believe it or not, maybe it is a different tooth. Maybe the tooth is broken or decayed and needs extraction. Maybe bacteria have filtered along the old rootcanal and have caused an infection and it may need to be redone. Possibly a canal may have been missed. There maybe other possibilities but you need to get checked out to find out what to do. Again as far as the money goes you may want to find a dentist who does 3rd party financing, that may help you out. If you have been with a dental office for a long time and they know you then speak to them. They may give you financing or payment options of their own. Being a long time patient the dentist has the possibility to really help you out. ( a good reason to be a regular patient and build a good relationship with your dentist)
      Let me know what happens.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  10. Hello Doctor,

    My question is that I've been notify I had a root canal. I haven't had the time and budget to go get it fixed. Also my wisdom teeth in the back are starting to grow so I didn't want to waste money putting a crown and teeth when my wisdom teeth could be pushing it out of the way.

    Anyways my main point is that I have left my teeth the same way and haven't got it fixed except having one filling done to it about a year ago. The filling later then felled off and I still i was left with a hole in my teeth.

    Couple months back I was eating and I heard something crack. I thought bone? But NO! it was my teeth so my (square) teeth in the back was cracked almost in half and 1/3 of my teeth was gone.

    Just yesterday night I yawn and probably scrunch my teeth to hard and guess what (CRACK). Woke up thought it was dream, I checked and a broken part of my teeth was sitting in the hole of my root canal. It seems gross but it's ok to me.

    So now basically my root canal teeth is more than half way gone. Is it okay to leave it like that or will there be any infection? I don't feel any pain or anything like that as of now. Just that it's almost like an empty space now.

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  11. HI Kleegirl,
    To answer your question. It is not ok to leave it like that because sooner or later there will definetly be infection and PAIN. It will also come at the worst time for you, such as on vacation or at a wedding. (because that is the way these things go.) Go see your dentist and see if it is still possible to save or not. Depending on your age and the way the wisdom teeth are growing, by extracting this tooth it may allow the wisdom tooth to come down into this position. This is something you may want to speak to your dentist about.
    I know money is a big issue for everyone but it really is cheaper and better in the long run to take care of your teeth than letting your mouth fall apart and having a tooth extracted every time there is a problem.
    Check out my blog of May 22, 2012 on this subject.

    I hope I have helped a little.
    Good Luck and all the best.

    Dr. Ron Barzilay

    PS. Let me know what happened

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  12. Hi Doctor,
    I've had several consults and a CT scan for my wisdom tooth. Several oral surgeons have that extracting my wisdom tooth will result in paralysis due to the position and proximity of the nerve.
    A possible solution is doing a root canal and "letting nature take its course". Since there is no opposing force biting down on the bottom wisdom tooth, the idea is that it will continue to erupt maybe with help from braces and fall out on its own eventually.
    It that even possible?
    The wisdom tooth is fully erupted and straight.

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  13. Hi Kevin,
    I am not sure what your wisdom teeth have to do with this post but that is not important. Did the Oral Surgeons say that extracting your wisdom tooth would cause paralysis or might cause paralysis? In every wisdom tooth extraction nerve paralysis is a possibility although a small one. What percentage chance are we talking about? 97% chance of paralysis or 2% chance of paralysis? Why does your wisdom tooth have to come out in the first place? (if it is fully erupted and straight) Can you post a panoramic xray? I can't comment on doing a root canal and tooth eruption and what you should do without seeing xrays and photos and getting some further answers to my questions.

    All the best
    Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  14. Hello Dr. Barzilay,
    I was just now eating a piece of broccoli and I heard a snap. I think I broke the post of my root canal in my upper left lateral incisor. It feels a little weird, but it doesn't hurt. It's definitely a little loose, but doesn't feel like it's going to just fall out.
    Reading the posts in this thread, I'm not sure if the dentist who did the root canal put a crown on the tooth. I guess I should know, but I haven't had many problems with my teeth, so I'm not sure what the crown would look like.
    In any event, if the post is broken, what are my options? As it so happens, I have an appointment with the local dental hygienist school next Tuesday, so I can probably get it x-rayed, though they won't do any actual treatment. Thanks.

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  15. Hi Phillip Ruth,
    Sorry for the late response but I was out of the country and I just got back yesterday.
    Well if you heard a snap and it feels different then you are most likely correct and something broke. It can be the crown of the tooth (natural crown or prosthetic crown). The question will be how far down is it broken and can this tooth be saved. You are better off going directly to your dentist to have a look. Either the crown can be repaired with perhaps a new post and then crown. ( gum surgery may be required ) Or perhaps the tooth may need to be extracted and an implant placed or a bridge made.
    Those are most likely your options of course without seeing an x-ray and the actual tooth these are my best guesses. Your dentist will give you the bottom line.
    All the best
    Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  16. Hi Dr!

    In a nasty bike accident ten years ago one of my front teeth almost got knocked out. This was during the summer holidays, so I had to see a dentist that wasn't my own. The tooth was half-way out, and the dentist instructed me to bite on a piece of hard plastic to re-insert it in the gums. A couple of years later I went to see my dentist (I was a lazy teenager) and he noticed that the tooth "pin" had snapped off and that I had an enormous infection. My tooth was dead and they did a root canal. I had to do it over 4-5 sessions because they inserted some bacteria killing stuff before they could fill it.

    The problem, right now, 10 years after, is that I am terrified of it suddenly falling out. I sometimes feel a little pain, but mostly not. What I do feel is that when I touch it with my tongue, it moves a little. It isn't loose, but it doesn't feel far from it. I don't dare floss because I'm afraid it will loosen further, something which causes intermittent swelling (infection?) in the gums surrounding that tooth. It always goes away, but it leaves me terrified for a week or two, where I barely eat and constantly think about it. I just can't live like this anymore. My dentist says that "if it can't take a little flossing, it isn't worth having". Easy for him to say, he's not the one worrying about the tooth suddenly falling out or the cost of getting it fixed if it does.

    As you can tell from my rambling, I'm going a little crazy over this. What would you do?

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    1. HI Cecilie,
      What would I do?
      The answer is quite simple and I think you know the answer. I would deal with the problem.
      You definetly have a problem there that is only getting worse and by not dealing with it in a timely fashion you are setting yourself up for discomfort and embarrasement. If you are worried that flossing will knock this out then you know there is trouble here. Now I can't tell you exactly what the problem or solution is without seeing an x-ray and examining the tooth. What I can tell you is by putting treatment off the situation is getting worse. Existing decay is getting larger, infection is eating away at bone that may be needed for implants, gum tissue may be deteriorating that is needed for an aesthetic outcome. All of this may be happening. What is definite is that this will all come to a head on that vacation you had planned for so long or on your wedding day. (Trust in Murphy's Law) So easy for me to say since I am also not worrying about the tooth coming out suddenly or dealing with the cost but however you look at it if you don't deal with it the tooth will come out and you will have to deal with the cost at a time that may not be good for you.
      Take the bull by the horns, go to your dentist and find out what has to be done and how much and then get it done.
      You will be alot happier when you have solved this problem.
      Let me know how it turns out.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay

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    2. I will, thank you for your reply. Got to save up money for a month or two first, though :) I'm a student and on an extremely tight budget.

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    3. Last bit of advice. If you have a good relationship with your dentist, he may be able to help you with payments or something of that nature. You don't know if you don't ask.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  18. My 10 yr old lost a tooth last night ( a molar) I sat in on the top of my sofa so I wouldn't forget about it. The temp in the house was about 78. It was out of his mouth for 2 hours at best. I heard a POP/CRACK sound and something struck me on the shoulder as if it were thrown at me. I just up to inspect and only half the tooth remained. The other piece is what hit me. It spontaneously popped/exploded like a popcorn kernel. PLEASE, is there a logical scientific explanation for this?????? I would not have believed it had I not seen in with my own 2 eyes

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    1. HI Jenny,
      Sounds really weird. I assume it was a baby molar that had come out as the permanent tooth was coming in. They are usually just shells of the former tooth and can break easily. But to have it fly across the room as it broke... no explanation unless someone was playing a trick on you and threw it at you and then it broke. If you find out the answer let me know.

      Delete
  19. Hello,
    I had a root canal done on Feb 21, and just today I noticed that it was really loose. I can actually see it move when i touch it gently. And it feels like It felt when i was a kid right before I lost a tooth. While I was there they sent something to a lab and i'm scheduled for crown on Thursday.
    No swelling, redness, tenderness. It really doesn't seem to be loose when i'm eating either only when i touch it.
    The temporary seems to be fit a little strange compared to how my tooth use to feel and some mouth movements knock on it now. Do you think after the crown and some adjusting that it will harden back up or will I be getting my tooth extracted instead of a crown placement on thursday?

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    Replies
    1. HI Ray,
      Speak to your dentist and ask him if it is really loose. First of all it is difficult to tell if a tooth is loose if you touch it with your fingers as the fat pads on the fingers move and give you the feeling that the tooth is loose. The temporary crown may actually be loose without the underlying tooth being loose. The tooth may have been loose before the root canal and you didn't realize it and now after the root canal is done it will tighten up. A lot of different scenarios, there are others I haven't even mentionned. Don't worry about it, you have an appointment in 2 days. You will discuss it with your dentist and find out if there is a problem or not.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      PS let me know what happenned.

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  21. Hi Dr. I got my root canal done by endodontist a month ago. He said that i need to go to my dentist for a cown 4 weeks after root canal is done. I have my dentist appt on 13th but I am seeing that the feeling actually went up in my teeth. I didnt see anything falling out. What happens in this case? Please advice.

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    1. Hi Chandni,
      The endodontist places some cotton pellets in the tooth and then seals it with a temporary filling. This temporary filling is "temporary!" So after a while of eating on it, it will compress into the cotton pellets below ( which is just volume of air). After a while it feels as if the filling is missing or the filling has gone up into the tooth. Not to worry, it is still there, but you should get the tooth built up as soon as possible and the crown placed. You want to get the tooth repaired because when that filling pushes up you will get bacteria going back into the tooth and that is not good. Also you want that crown on so that you don't have that tooth breaking on you.
      I hope this helps.
      All the best
      Dr.Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  22. Thanks in advance if you are able to answer...

    Last week one of my pre-molars broke laterally in half, right down to the gum line in the back (non-visible) part of the tooth. I went Tuesday for an exam and the first available appointment for a root canal is in two weeks, making total time with a broken, exposed tooth nearly three weeks. Is this a long time? Should I be concerned about infection in the meantime? Will the crown be placed the day of the root canal (my dentist said that we can save the tooth with a peg and a crown).

    Thanks for your time!

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    Replies
    1. HI Sarah,
      Try to keep the area clean. Is it a long time to go without treatment? Well, if it hurts it is a very long time and if it doesn't then it is OK. You are the only judge of that but if it is painful, call your dentist and try to get in earlier. Do not be concerned about anything in the meantime because what's the point. Your appointment is in 3 weeks and if you have a problem in the meantime you will call your dentist and they will get you in earlier. The crown will not be placed at that appointment as from what you have written, you will have a root canal done then. (root canal 1-2 appointments).After that you will have the "peg" and crown done. (another 2-3 appointments.)
      Let me know how it goes.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  23. Hi Dr.
    About 9 years ago I had three root canals done on my bottom front teeth after someone tried to knock my head off. At the time I was told that I was lucky to keep the teeth (at the time of the incident I was wearing braces and my teeth were still attached to them but had split through the gum).
    Anyway, to cut a long story short I noticed today that one of these teeth has become loose. I was told that this may happen due to the nature of my injury but luckily for me it has last 9 years rather than the 4-5 years I was told.
    The sad thing is that I haven't been able to go to the dentist for a couple of years as I haven't been able to afford it. I still probably can't afford to have have an implant now. I am planning to sign up with a new dentist in the following days to at least get a check up.

    However, I was just wondering if you could give me some advice/reassurance?

    Thanks
    Beau

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  24. In relation to the above comment. My root canals didn't have crowns.

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    1. Hi Beau,
      I have no specific advice to give you since it will all depend on the reason that this tooth is loose. It may or may not need an implant I just can't tell you . It may be a problem with the gums, it may be a problem with the root canal they originally did or it may all be related to the original injury which doomed this tooth to a shortened life span in your mouth. There just isn't enough info here for me to be specific. What I can advise you is to pick a good dentist! Ask friends, family and make sure he/she has a clean record with the local liscensing authority. He/She will guide you with good advice as to what to do and that is your reassurance.
      Let me know how it turned out.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  26. hello i had had a situation where on of my top front teeth broke verically. i went to the dentist and they performed a root canal and put in some temp filling to close part of it until i could get my post and crown. today i was eating and it seems my tooth and filling broke to the gum line. i called my denteist but what can be done now?

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    1. Hi Lauren,
      It all depends on how much tooth structure is left below the gum line. If there is a fair amount, a post and crown can still be done as you still have tooth to grab and distance of the crown margin from underlying bone. If however the crown is not only broken at the gum line but also at bone level then you will either have to do a gum surgery called crown lengthening so you can make tooth available to hold onto or just extract the tooth and have an implant placed. Having the tooth extracted and implant placed is the most predictable outcome.
      Without an xray I can't tell you exactly.
      Good luck and let me know what happened.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  28. Hi, I had a root canal done on a back molar about 3 yrs ago, it was crowned as well. it was collecting a lot of food between it & the tooth in front of it right from the beginning. I told my dentist this & she said it was fine when she checked it. Well, today, the post & crown came out!! Not just the crown, everything, so root canals do fall out. my question is, do i need to go back and have it repaired? or will the hole close up on its own? If there is one thing that i am terrified of is the dentist so i take care of my teeth on a daily bases but i am willing to not do anything if that is possible. I am not in any pain or anything. They also did another molar on the top right at the same time & that one i still get pain in if i eat on that side of my mouth. i have gone back & they say there is nothing left & it is just in my head. The tooth in front of that tooth is an implant so I know its not that one hurting & the molar behind it is fine they say. So, why is that tooth still hurting? Why can't i eat on that side?

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    1. Hi Floridagal68,
      Well, where do I start? NO, teeth don't fallout after rootcanal treatment!!
      You say the crown and post fell out, I assure you the tooth is still in there. You will need to have the crown recemented if possible, if not then have the tooth extracted. The hole in the gums is where the tooth is still sitting and you have to do something. Lets back it up a little. This tooth may have come off for a number of reasons. Perhaps there may not have been enough tooth structure to begin with and the tooth should have been extracted instead of all this work done. Perhaps, where the food was getting stuck, decay developed and the tooth just rotted away under the crown and then the crown came off and left the rotten roots below. Perhaps there was a fracture in the tooth and as the parts moved everything loosened up. I have a lot more scenarios that could keep me typing for some time. The reality of your situation, I don't know without actually examing. So what now? The hole will not close. You will either have to extract the roots of the tooth or possibly recement the crown or make a new one. Speak to your dentist about this. You can not leave it as it will start to hurt at some point. As to the other side, If it hurts then it is real. They just may not see the problem but the problem is real. I won't start to speculate why that side is hurting you because there are just too many possibilities. What I feel here is that you are not satisfied with what is happening at your dentist and it may be time for a second opinion as things seem to be falling apart.
      No question that you have to do something. Either go to your dentist or find a new one. Let me know what happened.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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    2. Thank you for your response. I am going to the Dentist tomorrow. I don't know what they are going to do but I doubt much because I will be to scared to let them do anything without taking something first. I can't even believe I am not sick right now thinking about going. I will let you know what they say tomorrow after I get back. Thanks again & have a great night.

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    3. Good Luck and let me know.
      Talk to your dentist about oral sedation or laughing gas. It will make life easier.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay

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  29. I had a root canal and never got a crown because I couldnt afford it. After about a year or so, the tooth fell out. I just left it with a hole because I had no pain. Skin grew over and it was fine. Now all of a sudden a year later the hole seems to be opening up and it looks like a rotted tooth is tryig to break free. It is very painful. i feel like I can feel the pain all the way in my jaw. What do you think is happening? Please help!!

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    1. Hi Jen,
      Well obviously the tooth didn't fall out because there is still something in there. What happenned was the crown of the tooth broke off after a year ( which may not have happenned if you had a crown - sorry, not trying to scold). Since you had a root canal it has not been painful. What is happening now is the roots are rotting under the gum and you are most likely starting to get an infection there. My advice to you is go to your dentist and have the roots removed before it gets worse (which it will).
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  30. HI,

    I was reading online that you can do pulp capping as an alternative to root canal. do you recoomed that.

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    1. Hi David,
      Pulp capping is not an alternative to root canal. It is a treatment that can be done in certain situations when it is advantageous to keep the nerve of the tooth alive. But it is very case specific depending on the exact situation ie. it is not a treatmen that you can go to your dentist and say "I want it!" A situation where it may be done is a young permanent tooth where the roots have not fully developed and a root canal would be difficult. It would be advantageous to cap the nerve (keep it alive) and let the roots continue to grow. This presupposes that the nerve is still alive. If the nerve is already necrotic then you can't do this. In many situations the nerve may be alive but so damaged that this is not a viable treatment. There are many other situations where this can be done but of course each one is case specific. With todays materials there are definite indications for this treatment but definetly not as an alternative to root canal but rather as another instrument in our armamentarium ( another tool in our toolbox.)

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    2. Thank You,

      How should i take care of my teeth so the root canal is done, it can last and not get loose and the toth to fall out.

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    3. David,
      After a root canal the tooth should have a crown. Every situation is different and you should speak to your dentist about your specific situation.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

      Delete
  31. Hello, about 5 years ago I was advised to get a filling on one of my upper molars and ever since I got it the tooth has been having sensitivity problems. Until recently it has gotten really sensitive, I've also had cases where I'd bitten on a chewy piece of meat and felt really bad sharp pains. About 5 months ago I told my dentist all this and through the scans and diagnosis he could find nothing wrong with it, so he redid the filling and told me to come back 9 months later if the problems were still present to undergo root canal treatment. I feel no pain or sensations during the day and I can quite easily avoid cold/hot liquids from touching that tooth as well as not eating chewy textured foods on that side. I was wondering if you had any advice for as to what I should do and what the problem could be or is it just the case of a extremely sensitive tooth? As i'm not too keen on getting a root canal due to a number of factors. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Please check out my Blog of March 28, 2012 on cracked teeth. This blog really talks about fractures and what may be happening when your dentist doesn't find the problem. SO READ IT! The other possibility is that the old filling was already so deep that there was long term damage to the nerve and you will need a root canal and crown.
      I hope this works out for you.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  32. I had two root canals done a few months back and I knew I needed to get crowns but financially I was trying to wait the two months for my insurance to lapse back over and cover some of the expense. Not two weeks afterwards both teeth completely shattered down past the gum line. They don't hurt but I'm just curious would I still be able to receive a crown as both teeth are pretty much gone and I now have two hollow spots where molars use to be? I truly don't want a partial because one tooth is top and the other is on the bottom.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Annette,
      Sorry for the late reply.
      As a dentist, I never know when and if the tooth will break. Sometimes it happens after years and sometimes the very next day after we finish the root canal. Whether the tooth is savable now depends on how the tooth has broken. In other words, do we have enough tooth structure to build a new tooth on. Without an x-ray I can't tell you what can or can't be done. It doesn't hurt because there is a root canal there but you can't leave it like that because if it is savable you don't want it to start to decay. If it needs to be extracted then better sooner than later, as later you will get infections and bone loss which will make implants more difficult.
      The bottom line is you will have to see your dentist and he will tell you if it is savable.
      All the best
      Dr.Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  33. i am in a heap of trouble. i have lost all my back teeth plus a bi-cuspid and (well lets just say i have 6 teeth on top and 7 on bottom. the reason for this (started 7yrs ago) i went into a new dentist office with a broken back tooth. the tooth needed to be extracted. fine! remember i had all my teeth then. a few months later i went back as i had a toothache which needed a root canal. fine. the dentist i went to is a one stop fix all. after the first root canal from him he told me i would need a crown pretty soon. i ended up coming back to him sooner that i thought, another toothache, another root canal. at this point no mention was made about a crown as the dentist busied himself taking many x-rays only to discover i had quite a few cavities. they needed to be filled. fine. each time i went to the dentist he'd be drilling and while i was on the gas and frozen he would tell me that it was a lot worse than first appeared, i need a root canal. it wasn't always the case, but i seemed to be needed many. eventually i was at the dentist practically every month having work done. remember the crown i was supposed to get after the first RC?? well he didn't. he became focused on my bite and said that until my mouth was in proper alignment he would not crown the teeth because the misaligned mouth could be causing all this rapid decay. he sent me to an oral surgeon - she wasn't as concerned about my bite as he was but offered that i didn't produce enough saliva and there was something off with my pH levels. okay, i am 47yrs old. and now i need dentures - reason: he became obsessed with the alignment of my teeth and chose not to crown them until was jaw was settled into a happy place . so, each and every one of those teeth that he performed a root canal on either broke below the gum line - couldn't repair it - extraction necessary, or the entire tooth fell out. I AM WONDERING WHETHER HE WAS NEGLIGENT! I AM SO ANGRY. this did not have to happen. So when you are looking for a dentist, get second opinions etc... i have spent thousands of wasted dollars on treatments that failed.

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    1. apologies: in a few instances there are 'tense' errors. some places may be missing a word, the reason, i was reviewing the post, changed a few things but couldn't see the whole shebang and ended with this grammatical horror. I'm thinking you got the point of my post tho'.
      again. thanks for ignoring the glaring errors.
      alyssa

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    2. HI Alyssa,
      First of all I am sorry for the anguish that you have been going through. I am sure it hasn't been pleasant and you are not done yet as you still have to replace your missing teeth and really determine what caused your teeth to be lost. This is important as it will influence your future treatment. You don't want to start a treatment and then have your remaining teeth decay and break. You need to get to the bottom of this.
      Was your dentist negligent? I have no idea and I can't possibly know from your story. All I can tell you is that if you have lost confidence in your old dentist (which you obviously have) then find a new one. You may want to obtain your old records, including radiographs so that you may be able to determine the progression of the decline of your teeth. That maybe a clue as to whether treatment was appropriate or not. Tell your new dentist the story and hopefully he will be able to get your mouth back in shape. I hope everything works out for you and keep me posted as to what happened.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  34. Hi, I had a root canal on my front tooth about a year ago after a face injury. I recently was accidentally hit in the same tooth which shifted my teeth I have been wearing my retainers for about a week now and its back in place, but that tooth still feels really loose. What is possibly wrong with this tooth, and what are possible treatments.

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    1. Hi Rebecca,
      There is a possibility that the tooth that was shifted has shifted back with the help of your retainers and when you get these movements the teeth are loose for a while and then harden up. That is the best case scenario. The other possibility is that because of all these blows that the tooth received the tooth/periodontal system may be damaged and the tooth may require extraction. This is one of those you need to see your dentist ASAP to determine what the problem is and what the treatment is. If it hardens up, that is simple but if it needs extraction then you may need to think about possible implant placement and that requires planning.
      All of this is pure guess work on my part and you need to see your dentist ASAP.
      Let me know how it goes.
      All the best
      Dr.Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  35. I got a root canal done when I was a child on a molar. A few months ago it fell out, along with pieces of the tooth. I now have a hole. There is no pain which I see is normal. I have no tooth that I can see in the hole and am wondering what my dentist will say. I have major anxiety when I go to the dentist because of having the root canal done and the laughing gas not working. It caused lots of pain during the procedure. So I am very nervous and would like an idea of what to expect when I go in. Can my dentist just clean out the hole and close it up?

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  36. I forgot to say I don't know of it was ever capped. No dentist commented on it either way.

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    1. HI Emily,
      Without examining the tooth I obviously can't "tell" you what to expect but I can take a guess. First of all the root canal did not fall out, the top part of the tooth broke apart and fell out but rest assured that the root canal is still there. If the top part of the tooth (or crown of the tooth) broke off and this was a few month ago then most likely there is decay there. Depending on how much decay will tell us what the treatment will be. There is a good chance that this tooth may need to be extracted. There is also a possibility that the tooth may be saved (although a smaller chance.) Bottom line is, only your dentist knows for sure when he takes an x-ray and examines your tooth.
      Good luck - let me know what happens
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  37. Hello, doctor. I had a molar with a big filling. The filling fell out. I went to my dentist. He said that I needed a root canal and sent me to an endodontist. The dentist put in a temporary filling. The next day the temporary filling fell out. I went to the endontist and had the root canal. HE put in a temporary filling until I got a crown. That one fell out the next day. I do not want another temporary filling- obviously it will just fall out in one day, after another appointment. Is it okay if I leave it as is until I see the dentist, in 1.5 weeks? I'm frustrated and considering asking the dentist to just pull the tooth out if there are any more complications, like needing to go to a periodontist for gum buildup and such. Thanks so much for your time.

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    Replies
    1. HI Deneen,
      No it is not ok to leave it. If the tooth is left open and the root canal is exposed to bacteria from the mouth then those bacteria can percolate around the root canal treatment and jeopardize the root canal treatment. As far as fillings falling out and the need for a periodontist. Speak to your dentist and ask him what is happening. Either you do or don't need a periodontist. What is the long term prognosis for this tooth. Nothing worse than having crowns come off and eventually the tooth being lost because perhaps the tooth was too far gone to begin with and should have been extracted. Having said that, of course there is nothing better than saving your own tooth. Speak to your dentist and discuss your concerns so that you can feel more comfortable with your treatment.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  38. Hello Doctor

    I had a root canal on a second from front tooth about 1-2 years ago. Recently my focus has been on this tooth and it has been bothering me. It does not hurt but seems strange. It has a very dull pulsing at times and feels like it does not belong. It just feels like a alien tooth in my mouth that does not want to be there. I have also had a mild discomfort in my cheek also but this has diminished. Would this be a failed root canal. I had an xray at the dentist and he said there is nothing wrong with the tooth. But I have had another root canal on another tooth and I do not notice this tooth at all a present.

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    Replies
    1. Dear John,
      Sometimes in the early stages an x-ray may not show anything until an infection busts out of the bone. At that point it would become visible. Other possibilities are the teeth beside could be radiating to this tooth. You may want to have it checked out by a specialist (endodontist) and have him give his opinion as to whether this is a failed root canal and can be treated or something else. ( there are new x-rays today - CBCT - which can see 3d into the bone, he may have access to this type of machine.)
      Sorry I couldn't be of more help but I would really need to examine the tooth.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  39. Hello Doctor,
    I had root canal almost 11 years back when i was in India 10 days back by mistake i hit somethinh ahrd now its paining and root cannled teeth is bit shakky i feel it has slightly come done. what could be possible problem i'm living in Mississippi how much could be avg cost of my treatment

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    1. HI Vishprass,
      I don't have much information to go by so I can only give a few guesses. If you hit it hard you may have broken something. If it had a root canal and didn't have a crown the tooth may now be broken and then the question is, can it be fixed? If the tooth is now "shaky" then either the tooth itself is broken or perhaps you did have a crown and the crown is loose. These are all guesses since I don't have enough info to go by. As far as the cost, without knowing the problem I couldn't say. Regardless, my price is for Ontario Canada, I doubt it would help you as every jurisdiction has it's own prices.
      Good luck and let me know what happens.
      Dr.Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  40. Hello Doctor,
    I had my root canal done on my front tooth about 3 and half weeks ago and going to get a crown in September. Before the root canal treatment, I fell and my tooth became just slightly loose, and my dentist said after my treatment it will tighten up, however it still feels the same? Also, when I bite down on my tongue, my root canal treated tooth still feels sore but it feels fine if I dont bite down, is that normal? One more question, the fall pushed my tooth back, is it harmful to get a spring retainer to get my front tooth realigned and should I wait after I get the crown or before and if my tooth doesn't tighten can I still get it?

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    Replies
    1. HI Taylor,
      As usual without an x-ray and without examining your tooth, the best that I can give you are some educated guesses on what may or may not be happening.
      The most concerning thing here is that the blow you received has pushed your tooth inward. The reason you most likely had the root canal down was that the movement of the tooth tore it's nerve and blood supply. There may have been pain or not but with the nerve and blood supply damaged then a root canal is required. Other problems can occur. There may be damage to the surrounding tissues including the bone and you may get resultant movement of the tooth. If these tissues heal up nicely then the tooth will most likely harden up but it takes some time. If everything is going well then you will steadily feel better, if not you need to find out why. Of course I don't know what the condition of these tissues were before the blow. If there were pre-existing periodontal issues then that may complicate things. As to the realignment of the tooth, your dentist will determine the right time for that but my assumption is that if there was a big movement it must be realigned. If the movement was small then perhaps when making the crown the new crown can correct for the movement. If you are going to do an orthodontic movement, you will want to wait until tooth is in the corrected position before placing a crown otherwise if you place the crown and then move the tooth a margin of the crown may become visible after the movement and then you may have an aesthetic problem.
      I hope I have helped a little but these are just guesses at the situation that you have described. Without my actual examination I can not know.
      Good luck and all the best
      Dr.Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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  41. When I was very young I chipped my front tooth and almost half of it was gone. I went to the dentist and they just put a piece of a fake tooth on it and sent me on my way. Years later I had to have a root canal. It has been 5 years since then and there are 2 cracks on my tooth from the fake part all the way to my gums. One of the cracks has a black spot in it and sometimes there is pressure on that tooth. I don't have insurance right now and I was wondering if I should extract the tooth and get a bridge or if I should just wait it out and see what happens?

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    1. HI Shayla,
      Well you know that waiting it out really means lets wait till it gets worse and then I have to do something. The tooth won't get better by itself that is for sure. As to the treatment that needs to be done I can't advise you without seeing an x-ray and doing an examine. What I can tell you is that if you can save your tooth that is the best. If the dentist says he can fix it but because of what is underneath he doesn't know how long it will last then think about an implant crown or bridge. If the dentist says the tooth is hopeless then obviously it will have to come out and be replaced. The short is you need to find a dentist and go have an exam and discuss your options regarding this tooth. The exam isn't that expensive and knowing what is coming will allow you to plan your finances accordingly.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay
      www.rondentist.com

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