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Dentistry/Whole root removal


QUESTION: Oral surgeon removed whole root from a crowned tooth that was part of a fixed bridge.3 months later area is still aching,family dentist took new xrays saw no infection and does not know why I still fee aching in area. Could this area still be healing?

ANSWER: Anthony -  There are a number of possible causes for the ache.  There could be an infection or the remaining tooth is infected.  There also a possibility that the bone surrounding the tooth is inflamed.  After three months the area should definitely be healed.  I don't know what instructions you were given, but it is very important that you keep the area under the bridge clean.  That can be done with dental floss, via a floss threader, or simply rinsing with an antibacterial rinse, like Listerine, a few times a day.  A quick improvement is not what you want; you want permanent healed tissue.  So you need to use techniques to permanently keep the area completely clean so recurrent inflammation does not occur again and again.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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QUESTION: Follow-up questions: my general dentist also told me that a new bridge is necessary now because of the large gap where the whole root was removed and food particles will get trapped,will this area fill in at some point with new bone and gum tissue, and any suggestions as to how long I should wait to have this bridge replaced being that it is still aching. I would hate to make the wrong decision as to when to have it replaced.

Anthony - A bridge would be appropriate to maintain a good bite.  I would not have a bridge or any appliance fabricated, other than a temporary appliance to hold the space, until the pain is gone and or the cause of the pain has been determined and cured.  

So hold off until the symptoms are gone.  

I hope the area feels good soon.  If not, you should get a second opinion from a different oral surgeon to determine the cause of the pain.


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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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