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Dentistry/Sinus damage from root canal surgery


In regards to my front tooth, six years ago or so my dentist sent me for endodontic surgery on the root of my front tooth.  She decided to cut my gum about 3 inches across to do the root canal surgery. This was done instead of taking out the tooth that I had replaced in the 70's. Prior to this, for months I was getting a bad taste in my mouth so I went to my dentist.  I did alot of research on root canal surgery and had I done this research before the first tooth was put in I would not have had a root canal surgery.  All those years I was slowly being poisioned by that tooth.  Anyway, I asked my dentist to pull the tooth and of course in turn a new tooth was made.  During this time a temporary was put it. At one point during all this to help with blood clotting in that area the dentist put in a material that acts as blood clotting.  Prior to this I had some pain and headaches so he cleaned out the area and put in that material that was to disolve.
The material partially dissolved but a tiny, tiny piece was left in the socket, thus headache and throbbing occured.  Now during this time and what knowledge I had of this procedure, that area was infected.  My dentist, with the urging of another dentist who is a surgeon told him to get that matter out of that socket and not to mention that deadly bacteria that was in that socket and the damage it can cause to my health.  After that matter was taken out it was much better.  Anyway, in my sinus area from time to time I get a headache on the left side of my face and my right nostril gets plugged.  Keep in mind this all happened one year ago. My FEAR is that, this is only of many bad things to come in this area.  It has been said that 90% of root canal surgery people end up with brain cancer.  THIS I believe.  So, now in the mean time is there any advice you could give me as to why I have this happening on the left side of my face. And what else I could do at this time.  I am not sure if it could be an infection in this area or the sinus area is just damaged and I must move on and live with it.  Thank you for your time in answering my question. :)

Kathy - Let me first tell you that root canal treatment in no way is related to brain cancer.  Anyone who stated that or thinks that does not deal in reality and obviously does not understand of what situations can cause cancer.  

Now lets deal with what you have gone through.  If done properly, the material used within the nerve canal to perform root canal treatment is a benign material that will not produce any side effects.  Root canal treatments fail when the dentist, before he filled the canal with the gutta percha benign material, did not fully clean the canal.  That left bacteria in the canal to percolate and produce the pain, pressure and often a bad taste.

I am not sure what material would be placed into a socket (unless the tooth was extracted there was no socket)so I don't know what the dentist cleaned out and placed some material into the area.  The sinus problem you are occasionally having might be secondary to a continued infection associated with that tooth.

I wish I could be more specific as to what is going on, but I would need more specific information or an xray.  I wish I could tell you what to do, but from what you have described, it sounds like the best thing to do is to see a different dentist.  The surgeon seems on top of your situation, it might not be a bad idea to have that surgeon recommend a different dentist to you.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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