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OK to leave root in tooth that fell out?

F

fearfulfreddy

Junior member
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
1
I had a root canal on a lateral incisor over ten years ago. Never had a problem with it until a few months ago it loosened after biting on stale bread, then fell out last week. It came out intact and clean but went to dentist who wants to remove the upper part of the root that is still in the gum. dentist took an xray and said it should be simple to get it out, but may need to cut into gum. He said I risk infection if it is left in.

Since the root has been dead over ten years and not had any pain or sign of infection, is it OK to just leave it alone? I am not going to get an implant. Probably just get a flipper for occasional use when in public but not for eating. It does not bother me to eat.
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
7,794
Re: OK to leave root in tooth that fell out

Yes, you do risk infection if it's left like that.

The root canal filling isn't a complete seal when it's exposed to the mouth, bacteria will happily transit the canal and set up home in the nice dark space at the top of the root. So long as you're fit and healthy it'll probably be fine, if your body's defences are reduced for some reason, say a bad dose of flu, then it could get a bit out of hand and cause you issues, or if you get a particularly nasty bug in there it'll overcome your body's defences anyway and again could hurt you a bit.

Murphy's Law would state that the time it would really flare up is when you're on a flight over the Atlantic or going to dinner with Scarlett Johanson or similar :)

It's a fairly easy job to flick out the root in these circumstances, but at the end of the day it's up to you to weigh up the risks and decide.
 
L

LittleLynnie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
322
Location
Canada
Re: OK to leave root in tooth that fell out

My periodontist actually said that it's better to leave the root because it helps to prevent bone loss, but only if the tooth has already had root canal treatment. That would not be the case if you're having a replacement tooth installed in the gap though. I found this imformation surprising though, so please check with your own specialist to confirm or deny my perio's opinion.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,732
Re: OK to leave root in tooth that fell out

or going to dinner with Scarlett Johanson or similar :)

Plus ça change :rolleyes:... how come she hasn't aged like the rest of us???? according to Wikipedia, she's still only 33 :hmm:
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
7,794
Re: OK to leave root in tooth that fell out

My periodontist actually said that it's better to leave the root because it helps to prevent bone loss, but only if the tooth has already had root canal treatment. That would not be the case if you're having a replacement tooth installed in the gap though. I found this imformation surprising though, so please check with your own specialist to confirm or deny my perio's opinion.

It's perfectly OK so long as the root filling is sealed over with an impermeable cover, it's when the root filling is exposed to the oral environment that problems start.
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
7,794
Re: OK to leave root in tooth that fell out

Plus ça change :rolleyes:... how come she hasn't aged like the rest of us???? according to Wikipedia, she's still only 33 :hmm:

I said "or similar" which would obviously include you Letsconnect!
 
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