Reworking a root canal

About 15 years ago I had root canal work on a lower jaw molar tooth, with the nerves removed, filler inserted, and a gold crown on top. Today I had xrays done and the dentist said there was a light area just below the crown, and just below the end of the tooth. I saw the xrays, and confirm what was said. He said this suggested bone loss due to bacteria, and the tooth needed to be reworked ie replace the old filler inside the roots, and add a new crown. Does this sound plausible? I generally trust my dentists, but I’m curious how bacteria can get inside the filler inside the tooth roots, and given the high cost, I’d like to understand the rationale. 


  • edited 13 October 2020 at 4:18PM
    brook2jack2brook2jack2 Forumite
    432 Posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 13 October 2020 at 4:18PM
    The anatomy of molar roots is really, really complex . Even with the finest tools and an operating microscope it can be difficult or impossible to get down and around all the bits of root. Residual infection can be left that years later can blow up causing problems. However the tools and techniques available for root treatment have improved massively over the years so some teeth can be saved that would have had to be taken out in times past.

    Re root treating molar teeth is a complex and difficult procedure best done by a specialist with access to an operating microscope (£18000) , the best materials eg mdta cement £50 a go , and a lot of time typically a couple of hours. Also best to have a postgraduate qualification in endodontics (circa £30,000 plus). 

  • BananaRepublicBananaRepublic Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Thanks, time to sell a kidney and book the appointment. 🙂
  • greyteam1959greyteam1959 Forumite
    4.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If it ain't broke don't try & fix it ??

  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
    10K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If it ain't broke don't try & fix it ??

    But it's broke!
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • welshdentwelshdent Forumite
    2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Sounds about right. If left it will only progress and worsen over time and may end up where it can no longer be re treated. Alos may become symptomatic and give you pain etc
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Did you know there's an MSE app?

It's free & available on iOS & Android


Regifting: good idea or not?

Add your two cents to the discussion

MSE Forum

Energy Price Guarantee calculator

How much you'll likely pay from April

MSE Tools