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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6000
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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I was told I need a calcified root canal and this tooth will

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I was told I need a calcified root canal and this tooth will be holding a four tooth bridge. What is the success rate of a calcified root canal and if that tooth will be able to withstand a four tooth bridge. It is the last tooth top left. Tx
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 5 years ago.

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Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 5 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

The fate of the tooth in question will depend on the reasons why your dentist chose to perform a root canal treatment. If it was simply because the pulp of the tooth appeared calcified, and there are no other manifestations of infection, the recruitment of this tooth as an abutment for your fixed bridge has a good chance of success.

If, on the other hand, the presence of infection has been confirmed-- either by the appearance of a gum boil, chronic pain, or a conspicuous lesion on the root tip as determined by x-ray-- the inability to implement a successful root canal treatment will pose a real problem, because infection will greatly worsen the prognosis of the tooth and anything attached to it.

If you have not already done so, you should consult with an endodontist (root canal specialist) to assess the tooth to see whether the canal(s) are truly blocked, because the extra skills of an endodontist can sometimes allow the blockage to be penetrated. If root canal is not feasible, some alternative treatment, such as apicoectomy (a minor surgical procedure intended to eliminate infection at the root tip) may be a reasonable substitute.

Hope this helps...
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

When we started this procedure I was told this tooth was a healthy tooth. I had an infection in the fourth tooth from the back top left, which was on a three tooth bridge. The three tooth bridge was removed, the fourth tooth from the back pulled.


I am having pain in this last tooth and that is why I was told I needed a root canal; when going to have the root canal I was told of the calcification and need to see a specialist. I have a lot of money invested in this procedure right now and a four tooth bridge ready to be placed on this tooth that needs a calcified root canal. I am so afraid this tooth will give me problems and not be able to hold this bridge once they complete (or even able to complete) this root canal. It is an infected tooth. With this additional information, what should I do?

Expert:  replied 5 years ago.
My recommendation remains the same-- you will need to consult with an endodontist. Regardless of whether you were told at the outset that "this tooth was a healthy tooth", the fact that you're currently in pain is good evidence that it is not healthy. Continuing with the bridge as if the tooth is healthy is not an option, because infection will not allow you to properly chew on the bridge, and the tooth will ultimately fail.

When a tooth has been determined to be infected, you only have 3 rational choices:

1-- perform root canal therapy if it is feasible to implement it successfully
2-- perform apicoectomy, which is an alternative procedure to eliminate infection, or
3-- extract the tooth.

It makes the most case to consult with an endodontist to determine whether your tooth and the new bridge can be salvaged. To find an endodontist, you may refer to the online directory of the American Association of Endodontists.

If the tooth is ultimately determined to be unsalvageable, your dentist will need to arrange for some alternative prosthetic treatment strategy, which may include either another fixed bridge of different design (for example, substituting a different tooth as an abutment for the bridge), or an implant supported prosthetic device, or a partial denture. If the current bridge cannot be used, your dentist will obviously need to apply any fees you have already paid to the alternative treatment, because a failure to complete what was started would logically be due to some error in either treatment planning or treatment execution, and he must bear responsibility for that failure.

Hope this helps. If my answer has been helpful, please remember to click "accept".
Good luck!
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6000
Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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