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I was in a car accident about 10 years ago, and had to have root canals done for my 2 front teeth. I have already had an apicoectomy done for tooth #8, but x-rays are showing a black area around the surgical area. I was told by my endodontist that I will have to have it extracted. I do not want to proceed further until I can find a second opinion or more information on the options that are available to me. Are there any other options besides extraction? Is a second surgery possible?

As your dentist probably discussed with you, root canal procedures are usually, but not always, a success. There are a number of factors involved with such failures. One of the most common reasons involving front teeth which have been traumatized is the existence of micro-fractures through the tooth. Such fractures prevent us from ever completely sealing the tooth from bacteria and infection. The dark shadow on your x-ray likely means that there is a new or chronic infection around the tooth and that leaving the tooth in place will allow the infection to grow. Your are certainly always welcome to seek a 2nd opinion, and if you do so, I recommend visiting an Endodontist. It is important to remember that in situations such as yours in which the 1st two treatments have failed, the likelihood of ever attaining a successful result with saving your tooth is minimized. If and when you have your tooth extracted, you may have several options for replacing it, including an implant, fixed bridge, and partial denture. Good luck!


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Last revised: January 03, 2005.