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Dentistry/shadow surrounding root of tooth


I have a capped lower molar.  It has had root canal and is sensitive to cold.  Once in a while, there's slight discomfort.  Exrays of the tooth show a large area of dark shadow around the base of the root.  Dentist recommends extraction and implants saying the shadow is an infection in the bone.  Can this be true?  I don't really have pain.

Hi Marcia,

You can have a new infection around the root of the tooth. Depending on the size of the infection and cause will determine the treatment needed. In some cases, the root canal needs to be redone. In others, the infected part of the tooth needs to be removed. In extreme cases, the tooth needs to be completely removed and then an implant is the ideal tooth replacement.

I would recommend to see an endodontist and to have them evaluate the tooth. This may require a 3-Dimensional X-ray to better gauge the extent of the lesion.

Wishing you the best!


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Benjamin Schwartz, DDS FAGD


I can answer a range of questions in dentistry, ranging from cosmetic dentistry, fillings, root canals, and comprehensive treatment. Specifically, my fields of interest are in CEREC technology, Invisalign (Invisable braces), and Endodontics (root canals).


Full time practicing dentist in New York City, treating all phases of adult dental needs. Specific focus on Invisalign cases, Endodontic (root canal) treatment, and CEREC single visit restorations.

Schwartz Benjamin, Boczko Fae, McKeon S. Oral Care For The Elderly. Perspectives in Gerontology December 2006

New York University College of Dentistry - D.D.S.
Woodhull Medical Center, 1 year post-graduate residency program - GPR

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