I had two extractions in 2019 from a previous dentist. After my new dentist took x-rays last month, she saw large amounts of tooth roots left for a lower right premolar and the tooth behind it. She wants to refer me to an oral surgeon to remove them because the bone around the roots did not heal correctly, and she is concerned that the neighboring teeth are at risk. I had some anxiety when I got the extractions but knowing that a surgeon needs to go deep into my bone scares me. I am worried about nerve damage. Do I really need a second surgery or is it okay to leave the roots alone? Thank you. William from Sioux Fall, S. Dakota
Thank you for your question. We understand why a second oral surgery would cause anxiety. Dr. Thomas would need to examine your x-rays and take a CT scan for an accurate diagnosis, but we will provide general guidance.
What Should You Do About Tooth Roots Left After Extraction?
Treatment for tooth roots left after an extraction depends on these factors:
- Root size
- Root location
- Condition of your bone and gums in the area
Lower premolar teeth are near the mental foramen, which transmits the mental nerve and artery. The mental nerve transmits sensation to the inside lining of your cheek, lower lip, and chin. Oral surgeons are skilled at removing teeth and roots without nerve damage. Dentists with oral surgery experience can remove the teeth, too, but if your new dentist refers you to an oral surgeon, it is best to respect her recommendation.
When your jawbone fails to heal in areas of teeth removal, you risk damaging neighboring teeth. An oral surgeon will examine your x-rays and take a CT scan to look for anything that puts your oral health at risk and to determine the location of the teeth roots near the nerves.
Remember to ask about sedation options to calm your anxiety during your consultation with the oral surgeon.
Dr. Siny Thomas, a Sugar Land, Texas dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the surgical program of the Pikos Institute in Trinity, Florida.