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Dentistry/Root Absorbrion vs. RCT


Tooth #6 was recently diagnosed a victim of root absorption per the PA X-ray. I was surprised to learn the cause for this was unknown and RCT seemed to slow the progression extending the life of the tooth. Armed only with some terminology I picked up while seated behind a couple Dentists on a flight from S.D. to L.A. 3 years ago. I was forced to agree and the endo was performed by an associate, 2 weeks ago. The cuspid in question which was pressure sensitive between lingual distal of #5 and mesial lingual of #3 (extraction orthodontics) was now aching increasing exponentially. Fearing the dreaded apicalectomy when endo fails, coupled with having endured this procedure in the past with #10. Instead of calling for pain meds I opted to go door to door asking neighbors for a few tabs of Tylenol-Codeine. This was a mistake when "Get lost Junkie" was the reply b4 slamming the door. Because I remembered a story the Office Manager told me some 10 years ago, when a patient after having several Rx's for pain meds called in after a molar was extracted from the mandible. She suspected he had no pain and was a drug addict. She asked him to return for an x-ray. When there it was plain a day an amalgam filling was in the socket. Apparently it had popped out going unnoticed by the Dr. Anyway, upon returning I was told amazing as it sounded. Maxillary canine's only are exempt from the "within 1mm rule" when cleaning the nerve bundle from the canal. Nope! It must be cleaned all the way to the apex. My lucky day the RCT can be done again of which it was. Unfortunately, after the local wore off the tooth feels like it did if I had not returned at all. Long story short. Not to take away the fact he is a excellent Dentist, dismissing the amalgam incident as human error and not below the standard of care, is the diagnosis and procedures correct or have I been Bamboozled?

If a root canal has failed, then retreatment, if possible, is the way to go. Apicoectomies are used when it is difficult, risky or impossible to conventionally retreat a root canal. When retreating a root canal it is important to seal the tooth to its apical foramen, which may occur at the radiographic apex or shorter( up to 1mm). It sounds like your dentist has a good handle on your problem.


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Lawrence Spindel DDS,


Cosmetic Dentistry, Endodontics, General Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry, Comprehensive Dental Care


Former Clinical Instructor of Comprehensive Dentistry, and Prosthodontic Department New York University School of Dentistry. Also former instructor of Preventive Dentistry Columbia University School of Dentistry.

Ask Dr Spindel Dental Blog also numerous articles on (over 100 pages of original content)

1980 DDS New York University College of Dentistry 1981 GPR Manhattan VA Hospital

Awards and Honors
OKU 1980 Honor Society 1980 Long Island Academy of Odontology award for highest combined Academic and Clinical Achievement.
In 1997 he was elected to Fellowship into the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics

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