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Dentistry/Shadow on x-ray infection or possibly not?


I had an apicoectomy done on my first bottom molar about 10 years ago. I have never noticed any problems with the tooth in this time, since. In recent x-rays however, there is a small shadow around the bottom of the post. I have had three consultations for it. Two dentists say it's likely an infection, one said with an abscess, the other said it could be from loss of bone in that area, due to the procedure. It's so important to know for sure, since I understand that a failed apicoectomy, means tooth loss. I know you cannot diagnose without seeing x-ray, but is there sometimes a shadow on the x-rays following such a procedure?

Hello Cherie and thank you for this great question.

The answer to your question is that yes it is not uncommon to see a shadow post apicoectomy.  Often this is just a scar at the tip of the root following apicectomy or sometimes even just a root canal. I think that in absence of symptoms it is best to continue as though it is simply a scar.  I think that you will be fine unless the area gets larger or you start developing pain in the area.

Dr. Karmen


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Thomas Karmen


All general dentistry questions, especially those related to fixed prosthetics. Endodontics, Periodontics, and implants, minor oral surgery I can't answer much about othodontics nor advanced treatment of carcinoma nor deep tissue surgery nor osseous surgery such as jaw reduction or advancement.


DDS In general practice and consulting with having done some lecturing for local dental societies.

ADA and Florida Dental Association and Iowa Dental association

DDS degree

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