I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted so I thought I’d show a case that caused me some trouble recently. The owner of this tooth had suffered a significant facial swelling and ended up in hospital. Fortunately, the swelling had subsided by the time I saw him and he was keen to save the tooth.
The thing to note about this pre-op xray are that the canal appears to split at the mid root level. Even if you can’t see the split, the fact that the canal narrows suddenly is an indication of a split in the canal system. The second telling point that we are dealing with something complex is the bulbous shape of the root, when compared to the first premolar. This alone would tell us that we should be looking for anatomy other than a single canal.
I was able to locate two canals, and confirm that these canals joined apically, but I wasn’t happy with the position of the files in the radiograph. As you can see, the lingual canal was quite centred in the root, while the distobuccal canal is shifted to the distal. It doesn’t look right does it? There must be another canal.
So…. I know to look for a third canal, but no matter how hard I looked, I just couldn’t find it. The canal were prepared and obturated, with the result below.
So you can see the squirt of sealer to the mesial at the mid-root point. There is no doubt that some anatomy has not been properly cleaned, and would likely be full of infected tissue. Back in we go. The GP was removed and the access expanded to allow location of the canal to be identified and confirmed with a file.
The third canal was then prepared. It too joined the other canals apically. The key to cleaning this sort of anatomy is passive ultrasonic irrigation, which I have discussed previously. The only way to then obturate is with a warm technique such as continuous wave or warm vertical. The tooth, of course needs a crown. In this case persistance paid off and the outcome can be much more certain now that the full anatomy has been cleaned and obturated. In hindsight, a cone beam CT scan may have assisted in locating the full anatomy.