I had an upper first molar extracted. My dentist had some trouble with the extraction. Part of one of the roots broke off. So he referred me to an oral surgeon, and I am now scheduled in three months for the oral surgeon to remove the rest of the root. Should I have it done?
– Marco from Buffalo
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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There are a couple of things I don’t like about this situation. Let me explain.
It’s not unusual for part of a root to break off during an extraction. Some roots are of such a shape that they don’t come out easily and will break off. So this happened, and your dentist realized that he didn’t have the expertise to go after the root fragment—that’s an indication of being responsible. Hopefully, with more experience, he will know ahead of time when an extraction will be beyond his ability and will refer out the entire procedure.
But not being able to get you in for three months to get the root out—that’s too long. That’s enough time for bone to start to fill in, making the procedure that much more complicated. That follow-up care should be in a few days, maximum.
Finally, this is an upper first molar. Often, the roots of maxillary first molars are very close to the sinus wall, and going after them can poke them into the sinus. This causes a sinus perforation, which is an additional complication, plus now you need to have that root tip retrieved, which is tricky surgery. Letting three months of healing go by before going after the root will increase this risk.
Bottom line, I would get a second opinion on this, and I would do it right away. If the piece of root is small enough and close to the sinus wall, it may be best to leave it alone. If that’s not the case, the surgeon should go after it within the next few days.
– Dr. Hall
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