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Is doing a Root canal on a shaky tooth a wise option?


Date: 13 Sep 2016   Posted By: S Radhakrishnan     Group: Doctors    Category: Dental   

The doctor has scheduled a root canal treatment on my left lower molar (second from last). He also wants the tooth topped with a crown. The X-ray shows a dark area around the roots which the doctor says is a sign of infection. Also there was swelling on the outside gum which has subsided - I am still on the five-day antibiotic regimen.

The big doubt I have is whether this RCT is the right kind of approach especially as the tooth is visibly shaky. It moves about 1 mm side to side when moved with the fingers. The dentist checked this out but still suggested RCT and said that if this doesn't work out the tooth could be extracted.

I would like to know whether it is a wise thing to have an RCT done on a tooth that has a movement even though it is slight.

Awaiting advice.


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Author: NK SHARMA    15 Sep 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

There are 32 teeth in your mouth. If one is extracted due to infection and cavity, it does not matter. If the tooth remains in the mouth, it may spoil other two more adjoining teeth. You will be paid minimum thousand for RCT and capping. RCT is long process it will require 4-5 sittings to do a root canal and still not assured that it will work.
In my opinion, it will be better to go for tooth extraction. Let the wound heal, wait for 6 months, then go to crown, bridge. I got my tooth extracted in 1998 and went for the bridge in 2011. It's perfect I have not any problem. Still choice is yours. You may go for anything which you like.



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Author: Reena Upadhya    15 Sep 2016      Member Level: Silver     Points : 5  (Rs 5)    Voting Score: 0

- You said that your tooth is mobile i.e., shaky and this is a contraindication for root canal treatment. It means root canal cannot be performed if tooth is mobile and in your case mobility is excess which is almost 1 mm side to side. Do not go for root canal treatment as it will not be successful.

- Second thing is dentist itself has said that if RCT do not work then extraction has to be done. It means that he is pretty sure that treatment will not work as he knows RCT is not favorable to mobile teeth and success rate is very less.

- In root canal treatment, entire infected pulp will be removed. Root canal will be filled with Gutta purcha. When it comes to crown area, cavity will be prepared and filled and on top of that crown fitting will be done. To bear all these procedures your tooth should be in sound state. Mobility will not allow it to face such extensive work.

- Even if your tooth survives the whole procedure but then the treatment will hardly strengthen your tooth. There is every possibility that there is chance of increasing shakiness of tooth. Even after successful RCT, you may loose your tooth as it will increase its mobility.

- It is better that you go for tooth extraction. If it is not affected with caries extensively then a cavity preparation and filling it with suitable material will do good. If RCT or extractions are the only two options given to you then better you go for extraction.

- Once tooth is extracted, underlying tissues will take some time to heal and once it takes place you can go for artificial tooth replacement, if you find any difficulty in mastication. If you are not finding any problem with it then you can simply carry on as it is.

- However, if tooth is not replaced then resorption of bone takes place i.e., you will face bone loss and thereby there will be reduction in alveolar ridge height. The earlier you replace the more benefit it will give you.




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Author: Venkat Satish Mamidisetti    15 Sep 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 4  (Rs 4)    Voting Score: 0

I'm sorry to hear that one of your teeth is unhealthy. As per your report, the teeth are moving a little bit. This may be caused by bacterial infection in your gums or by malnutrition. The bacterial infection actually starts from food that is accumulated in your teeth and your improper cleaning of teeth lets the bacteria take a boarding pass to your teeth. The bacteria then make the gums swell and let the tooth loosen so that it swings upon force exertion by fingers or a brush. The second cause that is malnutrition, sometimes deficiency of calcium also causes your gums to loosen as an primary indication of malnutrition.

If there is an infection in the center of the teeth making it appear like blackish with loss of dental material, then root canal treatment may be performed that actually clears total material and infection from teeth center leaving the outer part. The hollow part then will be filled with filler material and is capped. Please note that a root canal is only performed if the tooth is strong enough to bear teeth drilling and grinding. As in your case this is impossible and more over root canal treatment is costly and requires at least 5 sittings and overall it takes 1 painful month to cure.

The second most option is to take correct medicines such as antibiotics, nutritional supplement prescribed by the doctor so that infection ceases and the gum will again strength the teeth by supporting it. Always note that removal of teeth is not only solution you have. If your doctor is perfect, then he'll prescribe to save your one of 32 gems by alternative treatment.




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Author: Mahesh    17 Sep 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 1  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

Doctors usually don't recommend the root canal on the shaky tooth. In order to get such shaky tooth out, they wait or just pull it out. In some cases however they may even take the measurement and then make the bridge teeth. This helps to get the teeth in proper shape this way. It's always better to use root canal on the teeth which has cavity. Root canal is not recommended on the shaky tooth.


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Author: Partha Kansabanik    19 Sep 2016      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

Root canal treatment is generally not advisable on shaking tooth. If the tooth is infected and shaking, it would be much better to extract the particular molar tooth after the swelling is subsided.

I would advise you to take second opinion regarding root canal treatment from a more experienced dentist.



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