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Dentistry/temporary filling



Does leaving cotton in your tooth after permanent filling cause bacteria? Should ALL temporary filling be removed before placing a permanent filling post root canal?

Dear Lisa:
The only reason the endodontist (or your general dentist) place a cotton pellet into the tooth after a root canal, is to allow for time to pass between appointments, and also to make sure that any kind of pain and swelling are gone prior to fabrication of a final restoration.
Once a root canal filling is completed (also called obturation), a final core build up, to restore the inside of the tooth on top of the roots is necessary.  Once that is done, the tooth can receive a final filling, if most of the tooth is intact, or a crown, if the tooth is a back tooth with destroyed tooth structure.
Either way, NO COTTON, or any kind of temporary filling should be left behind under a final (permanent) restoration.
If you think that your dentist had left a cotton pellet inside your tooth under a final filling, you should talk to your dentist right away.
Remember that your dentist is a human being as well, and mistakes do happen.  This kind of mistake is easy to repair.
Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman


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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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