How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Just Dental Truths! Your Own Question
Just Dental Truths!
Just Dental Truths!, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1024
Experience:  29 year clinical Practioner
Type Your Dental Question Here...
Just Dental Truths! is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If my dentist found a shadow above a tooth and indicated it

Customer Question

If my dentist found a shadow above a tooth and indicated it is infection, is root canal the only treatment option
JA: Have you noticed any swelling in the gums? When was your last visit to the dentist?
Customer: I visited the dentist on Wednesday. Prior to that it was about 3 years. There is no swelling in the gun or pain.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the dentist should know?
Customer: There is a filling in the tooth.
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Just Dental Truths! replied 9 days ago.

Might you possibly have your x-rays? Can you send them to me, regarding this tooth?

I should say, that if you do NOT have copies, you can call your Dentist office, and they can email them to you (no charge). The x-rays actually are YOURS. The copies always stay at the Dentist's Office, but you can get copies sent to you , if you want such...

Dr. Rampton

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I have attached them
Expert:  Just Dental Truths! replied 9 days ago.

Good job!

OK, appears you have two separate areas. X610456.JPG being the top sinus area. The third tooth from the back "IS" (sorry) abscessed. (By the way, did you have sinus surgery in the past on this top area?)

Generally when abscessed, a tooth does hurt, true. But not always, and/or not always full time either. But, I understand your concern, as in, why do a root canal? I think you are going to relatively soon, be best off getting a root canal on this bicuspid on the top. Some good news: It's generally only got 1 canal, so it's quicker to do, and costs you less than other molars with multiple roots.

With regard to X610456_9.JPG - It appears to be a lower bicuspid. It "may" be abscessed, and then it may not. Let me explain. Other x-rays are needed for the lower. The lower is more difficult to say the dark halo under the root is for certain an abscess, or, is it the "mental foramen", something which mimics an abscess, but only on the lower bicuspid area.


Summarizing: The top bicuspid does have an abscess. Does have need, even if you don't yet feel anything, of a root canal (1 canal generally only).

The lower bicuspid, more x-rays are needed to be certain as to whether it does or does not have an abscess. Did your Dentist suggest you have one or two abscesses?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
He suggested I needed 2 root canals. One for each tooth with the shadow. He suggested the lower was more urgent but it seems the upper should be first. I just worry about having root canals. I realize in the long run it is better than losing the tooth but I feel badly needing them.
Expert:  Just Dental Truths! replied 9 days ago.

Oh, I totally understand you... I'm a good brusher and have had one. My wife has had a couple as well. But, the bicuspids cost less, and are much quicker to have done. It will preserve the teeth!


So, as I see things: You need one on the top bicuspid. (Did you have sinus surgery?)

You likely may need one on the bottom. I say likely, because there is something called the (Mental Foramen) on the lower bicuspid area. Google it. Your lower shadow, "could" be the Mental Foramen. Unsure. But check with your Dentist/other x-rays/maybe have a Panoramic x-ray taken? Because while the lower bicuspid "looks" like it too needs a root canal, I'm not yet 100% certain. If the shadow is the Mental Foramen, you don't need a lower root canal. If the shadow is an abscess, then yes, it needs a lower root canal as well.

Sorry to give you the news you don't want to hear, really... But, it's BEST to know what you really do/don't need! I hope this helps you!

Dr. Rampton

Feel free to ask follow ups, as I want to make certain I address all of your concerns. But when I've answered you thoroughly, please do rate my answer-OK?

Expert:  Just Dental Truths! replied 9 days ago.

Did the lower bicuspid Mental Foramen cause confusion? Other concerns?

Expert:  Just Dental Truths! replied 9 days ago.

Whatever I can do further, please do let me know - alright?

Dr. Rampton

*I hope you can rate my answer. That's how we get credit for answering questions. Thx ( -:

Expert:  Just Dental Truths! replied 8 days ago.

Any further unanswered concerns?

Related Dental Questions