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Dentistry/possible root canal failure...abscess?


I am 43 and had root canals done one my 4 front bottom teeth when I was 18.  I just moved and got a new dentist. They did a full set of x-rays.  First they wondered why no crowns.  I was never told to get any.  My teeth also never really darkened. Maybe one shade but nothing noticeable.  Now for the problem.  They said in the x-ray there was a dark area around 3 of the teeth indicating an abscess and that it appears chronic and it has probably been going on for years. They said the original dentist did not fill the canals completely. I have no pain or swelling and was completely unaware that there may be a problem. They said that's normal because the nerve is dead from the r/c.  They recommend removing all 4 and getting implants or a partial. Could the dark spot be damage from an abscess that I had a within a year after the original work was done?  Does their diagnosis and recommended treatment sound right. I remember my first abscess in the same spot hurt like hell,  why would this be any different? I would absolutely appreciate any input or advice I could get.  Thanks!

simply put you need a second opinion.
Especially when you have been asymptomatic and the new dentist tells you the old dentist didn't do things properly.
Your question is not one I can answer without seeing x-rays and examining you myself.
Your instincts are what will help you the most, if there is any question in your mind , even though it is sometimes hard to do, get another opinion.
All the best,
Dr. Moss


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Stephen J. Moss


I am a professor emeritus at New York University, with a background that includes extensive research, scientific writing and biology. I also am an international consultant in health education, particularly in developing education on new science for health professionals and consumers. I am a past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, former head of the NYU Division of Oral Biology and I represent the World Dental Federation at the United Nations. I travel around the world to provide health education to professionals and consumers.


Having retired from New York Universit, where I directed the pediatric dentistry training program, a walk-in dental clinic and research on oral biology, I formalized my professional and consumer health education initiative in the form of Health Education Enterprises. This entity consults and provides information on new science pertaining to oral and general health, particularly leading edge concepts that can be employed in the health professions to improve the public's health. As such, I am an expert in communicating new science and its usefulness to professional and lay audiences alike. I also had a pediatric dentistry practice in New York City for nearly 30 years.

I am affiliated with the American Dental Association, the World Dental Federation, the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry among other formal organizations. My experience has included a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and work at the Forsythe Dental Research Center

lpha Omegan USA, Nowa Stomatologia Poland, Journal of Public Health Dentistry, The Journal of the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry USA, News Bulletin Japan, Journal of Marmara University Dental Faculty Turkey, Italian Journal of Paediatric Dentistry Italy, Asian Dentist Singapore, The Journal of the Israel Dental Association Israel, ROBRAC Brazil, Italian Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Italy, FDI World, STOMA Portugal, Pediatric Dentistry The Philippines, Modern Stomatology Bulgaria, Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry India

I obtained a doctor of dental science (DDS) degree, a master of science degree and am a board certified pediatric dentist.

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