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Ask Mark Bornfeld, DDS Your Own Question
Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6003
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 had a root canal and upon observing the X-ray after the

Customer Question

I had a root canal and upon observing the X-ray after the root canal I observed what appeared to be a leak at the tip of the root. I asked the dentist and he responded it was cement that leaked. Is that safe to have a leak or can that compromise the root canal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 1 year ago.

You pose an interesting question, and one that cannot be unequivocally answered, because most of the references to "root canal overfill" (i.e., when some of the root canal obturation material extrudes through the tip of the root) are empirical in nature; there is a lack of hard published scientific evidence one way or the other.

The general perception among endodontists is that a small amount of overfill will not adversely affect the outcome of root canal treatment. After all, obturation materials are tested and formulated to be bio-compatible, and their presence typically does not induce significant biologic effects. On the other hand, large amounts of material pumped into the confined space between the tooth root and the bony socket can theoretically create mechanical irritation to the adjacent tissues. And because most clinicians actively strive to fill the root of the tooth just to the root tip and not beyond, significant overfill tends to reflect inattention to detail, and raises questions as to where else the overall procedure may have been deficient.

In practical terms, there is little that should be done at this point other than normal postoperative professional surveillance. If all other aspects of the procedure were executed properly, this event is unlikely to prevent a successful outcome. If symptoms or signs of inflammation do emerge, surgical removal of the excess filling material in the course of an apicoectomy would be a reasonable remedial strategy.

Hope this helps...