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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3488
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 37 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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What is the ADA's position on putting amalgam in a root

Customer Question

JA: Hi. How can we be of help?
Customer: What is the ADA's position on putting amalgam in a root canal?
JA: Have you seen a dentist about this yet?
Customer: Yes over 35 years.
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so the dentist can help you best.
Customer: My dentist placed an amalgam in my root canal in 1979. Since then I have had cysts removed from my gum and a granuloma removed from the root tip. I had have had nothing but pain in the root tip area since 1979. In 2000 I had a sinus infection that pushed an amalgam tattoo onto my gum. This is an eye tooth.
JA: How long have you been dealing with this? Are you having any breathing problems?
Customer: Since 1979. It has found its' way into my sinus on that side.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 9 months ago.

Was the amalgam placed in the canal of the root itself or was the tooth just filled with amalgam.Do you have an X-ray of the tooth involved?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Amalgam was placed in the canal of the root itself. I told the first dentist (the one that placed the amalgam in the root canal) I had pain in that area, he said, it was my sinus causing the pain. The first time I went to the second dentist he took an x-ray and said there is a cyst in the area in which I had pain. I had 2 more root canals on the same tooth from the second dentist. The second dentist was trying to clean out the amalgam that the first dentist placed in the canal. The first dentist taught part time at the Univ. of Pennsylvania Dental School.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 9 months ago.

Amalgam has never been an accepted root canal filler.Part of the reason is that the canals of teeth are so narrow ,it would be nearly impossible to get the amalgam to seal the tooth at the root tip.A cyst would be unrelated to the root canal or to the amalgam.The probability of correcting a failed root canal is about 50%.Why any dentist would want to attempt a third try is beyond my comprehension.I was in dental school in 1979 and amalgam was never one of the materials that we used to seal a tooth.With that being said,it is also true that what you put inside the tooth,after a root canal is never as important as what you take out.In other words ,if the tooth were cleaned and instrumented properly,you could put almost anything in it to seal it as long as it was thoroughly cleaned.As far as the ADA position on amalgam as a reliable and safe filling material, here is the most recent statement on their position .

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i have had three dentists tell me, "I wouldn't have done it that way." (meaning put an amalgam in a root canal) An oral surgeon took out the granuloma at the root tip in 2002. A sinus infection on the same side as my root canal forced the amalgam to come to the surface of my gum above my root canalled tooth in 2001.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 9 months ago.

I don't know of anyone that places amalgam in a root canal to seal it.Because of the difficulty of getting the amalgam to the tip of the tooth to seal it,I am quite sure that the ADA does not advocate amalgam as a root canal sealer.I do know and I have placed amalgam in the root tip when doing an apicoectomy when we do a retrograde filling of the root tip but never have I heard of anyone using amalgam inside of the canal to seal it.

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 9 months ago.

Did I answer your question adequately or do you need more information?

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 9 months ago.

If you have no further questions,could you kindly leave a rating so that we can maintain good quality control on this site ? Thanks

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