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Dentistry/Root canal medicament


QUESTION: Hello Dr. Backlund

As a dental student I have something confusing me. I hope you can help me clarify and arrange my thought.

When using intracanal medicaments. We have several choices

Either Calcium hydroxide non setting
Calcium hydroxide mixed with iodoform
or Antibiotic containing paste and anti inflammatory such as ledermix.

When shall I use each one? when is each indicated and why would I choose one and not the other.


ANSWER: Hi Ibro,

You ask a great question and one that is filled with controversy. There are so many theories about intra canal medicaments, so I will share mine and of many of my colleagues.

I have not used ANY for the last 10 years and my incidence of post op problems has decreased substantially. Most of the endodontists in Washington State follow this same practice. At first I was afraid there would be secondary infections post op, but just the opposite was found to happen. Patients were much more comfortable.

Unfortunately, you are probably being taught to use them, so you will have to work through that, but when you can, try using none. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

I realize this really doesn't answer your question, but since I don't use medicaments, I really can't help with the differences.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks a lot

What you are talking about I read it somewhere also ..

I think the only benefit is if there is analgesic.

I will try to ask someone who might use the medicaments.

Best wishes

You are more than welcome! We have actually found NO benefit and in fact medicaments cause more problems, but you need to find that out for yourself. I was taught to use medicaments in Grad school, but discovered on my own the benefits of stopping their use.

Good luck to you and you have chosen a great profession!

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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