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This is a follow-up from Mozna from a post I answered yesterday: Will taking out this tooth root risk nerve damage? Mozna sent an x-ray with this comment:
I have included a link to the x-ray. The surgery I need is for my bottom left tooth number 35. You will be able to see from the X-ray that I have roots left behind on both the left and right side of my mouth however the surgeon will only be extracting the root on the left side. Is it a good idea to do this extraction if it’s sitting on a root?
So this is a lower premolar, as I suspected, and we are talking about the risk of damage to the mental nerve, because of proximity to the mental foramen.
What I said yesterday stands, as far as the risk of damaging this nerve. This is a matter of good surgical technique. I do not believe that a skilled, careful surgeon would have any problem avoiding damage to this nerve.
Now about whether or not this root should be removed. Here is the x-ray you sent:
Yes, I see that we are talking about a very sizeable part of the tooth. It looks like the entire root on the left side (which is our right) was left behind. On the right side, the tooth fragment is maybe 2/3 of the root.
In my opinion, you are getting good advice here. On the right side, the bone has healed around the remaining part of the root and there is no pathology. On the left side, however, the amount of root remaining is so large that the bone was not able to heal over the tooth, leaving a bony defect which could eventually threaten the teeth on either side.
I’m sorry that you were so poorly served by your original dentist. It seems like you are in good hands now, though.
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