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What is a root perforation?

A root perforation is a hole that develops inside a tooth’s root canal system - which is a space containing nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels.

Sadly, perforations expose this center layer to the exterior mouth tissues - causing the root canal to become open and vulnerable to bacteria and debris. This unfortunately leads to complications such as pain, inflammation, and eventually, total tooth loss.

Furthermore, internal resorption contributes to the absorption of the dentin, bone, in addition to additional inner components back into the tooth - which ultimately creates a hollow tooth. Alternatively, external resorption typically affects the cementum - which is the material that covers the roots of the tooth, through enabling absorbtion by the tooth.

Potential causes of root perforation

Perforations can occur due to severe tooth decay, or as a result of internal or external root resorption.

Instances of infection, trauma, or exposure to certain conditions such as chemicals or extreme heat can lead to this resorption. However, it can also be a complication of a failed root canal procedure, in which too much of the inner pulp was removed during preparation.

Infection following a perforation can result in the formation of a pocket of pus (referred to as an “abscess" on the root. This may also lead to discolouration and swelling of the tooth as well as surrounding areas.



When addressing a perforation, it’s best to act fast

Seeking prompt endodontic care from our Richmond Hill team will help to ensure the best prognosis possible for treating your root perforation.

Like with every kind of dental complication, the earlier the problem is addressed, the better and less invasive the outcome is likely to be - which is also why routine dental check-ups are critical for the health of your smile.

To learn more about perforation repair, please contact our team at Elgin Mills Endodontic Specialists.