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Hi DR Finnk,

Can you tell me how long it takes for my gum above the #5 tooth to stop being num. its been 7 weeks now and i still feel the gum is num is that normal.

also could you tell me how long it should take to do that seemed like it was 15 min total work time on tooth
not including the anestetic.Can a apico be done in that time and will it show in a exray it was done right.

Dear Ann,

Last question first:  I the hands of a very skilled and experienced surgeon, an apicoectomy can be done well in 15 minutes.  An xray should show that it was done well.  Another xray after 3 months will show that healing has occurred.

Prolonged numbness at the site of a surgical procedure is not uncommon.  It occurs in about 5% of all cases.  My rule about prolonged numbness is called the rule of 3's.  Usually the numbness goes away in 3 days.  If not, then 3 weeks.  If not, then 3 months.  If the numbness lasts longer than 3 months, it will likely take a year to go away.  In less than 1% of cases, the numbness never goes away.  Everyone heals differently.

I wish I could speed things up.  But be assured that you will likely regain feeling in this area.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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